Florida twins Carter and Conner just graduated preschool in May, but they already have overcome many obstacles in life.
Conjoined at the abdomen, the Jacksonville boys were diagnosed with the condition in 2014 while they were still in their mother’s womb, according to Live Action News.
As often happens in such cases, the boys’ parents, Michelle Brantley and Bryan Mirabel, said they felt pressured to consider an abortion. Some people tried to convince them that killing their unborn sons was more compassionate than giving the boys a chance at life.
“The judgment we’re getting is something else. There’s people telling us we should have terminated the pregnancy. There’s people telling us we shouldn’t carry this out,” Mirabel told First Coast News.
The couple chose life for their twins, but the boys’ lives were still at risk. They were given a 25% chance of survival, and Brantley said she was at risk of miscarrying.
Much to the family’s relief, the boys were born alive in December 2014 at Wolfson Children’s Hospital in Jacksonville. That same month, they underwent their first surgery, according to the report.
Five months later, Carter and Conner were successfully separated in a 15-hour surgery; and after about a year in the hospital, they finally went home, the report states.
“We are blessed to be going through it because this doesn’t just happen to anybody, and they are miracle babies,” their mother told First Coast News.
Since then, the boys have been growing and thriving. Last fall, they began preschool. Then, earlier this year, they had to have another surgery on their backs, Live Action reports.
In May, the family celebrated the twins’ graduation from preschool in a post on Facebook.
“… these two have accomplished and been through SO much in their short lives,” their parents wrote. “Between being born conjoined, having a 15 hour separation surgery. Poked, prodded, no peace, living in the hospital til they were over a year old. Therapies, doctors, more surgeries. G-tubes, feeds, learning to eat and walk and talk, and now here they are!! Graduating pre-k, something doctors didn’t know if they were gonna be able to do! Conner and Carter we couldn’t be more proud!”
And their accomplishments were possible because their parents refused to believe that their lives were somehow less valuable in the womb.