A woman from North Carolina delivered conjoined twins earlier this month after being advised to abort the twins by doctors, Fox19 reported.
The two boys, Elijah and Isaac Kroeger, share vital organs and will remain conjoined, as doctors have said they cannot be safely separated, the outlet said. The father of the conjoined twins, Jason Kroeger, told the station that he can already see their different personalities.
He said that abortion “wasn’t an option” for the family.
“There is that initial shock, and a lot goes through your head, but pretty quickly we came to the realization these are our boys, and we have to do what we can do for them,” he said.
Kroeger and his wife, Heather, were informed at the end of the first trimester that they were having conjoined twin boys, according to a fundraising page, set up by their friends.
“It is no surprise that they have been advised several times throughout the pregnancy to abort these two little precious souls,” reads the page. “They rejected such a thought right out of hand.”
They were advised to travel to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center for the birth for specialized medical care.
Kroeger spoke told Fox 19 that the support from their family and friends has been “overwhelming.” The twins were also welcomed by their five older siblings.
Another pair of conjoined twins, Selah and Shyla, had been successfully separated at the same hospital, though Shyla did not recover as smoothly as her twin sister. They were joined at the chest and abdomen and will eventually need reconstructive surgery on their abdomens.
The birth of conjoined twins are very rare, occurring once every 200,000 live births, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center.
In October of last year, 13-month-old boys Jadon and Anias, who were conjoined at the head, were separated in a 16-hour surgery at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City. The mother, Nicole McDonald, said that Jadon was doing better after the surgery.
In April of last year in Texas, Ximena and Scarlett Hernandez-Torres, who were conjoined below the waist and shared a colon and bladder were separated in a 12-hour-long procedure.