Conjoined twins 'doing good,' mother says
April 12, 2014 10:54 AM
by CHAUNCEY ROSS

Right on schedule, Andrew and Garret entered the world on Thursday morning in Johnstown.

The twin boys, conjoined from chest to belly button, were born at 7:17 a.m. by cesarean section and were “doing good,” Michelle Van Horn, of Indiana, announced on Facebook more than 12 hours later.

Because of their expected delicate condition, Van Horn’s doctors arranged for their delivery about four weeks short of a full term pregnancy, in the hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit.

But the boys were doing so well that they weren’t confined to an incubator or placed in other special care.

“They’re mostly in the room with us,” Van Horn said Friday.

Sonogram tests showed the twins to be sharing a liver and their hearts, one stronger than the other, meaning there is nearly no chance for both to survive surgery to separate them. The family was profiled in story published in the Gazette on March 17.

Despite their dependence on a joined circulatory system and the historic low survival rate for conjoined twins, Van Horn said her new sons are in such stable condition that her doctors may allow them to go home with her to Indiana when she leaves the hospital.

On Friday, Van Horn said she expected to be discharged Sunday.

Adding to the boys’ life of sharing, Van Horn and her boyfriend, Kody Stancombe, gave both of them their middle names. Andrew Donovan Lee Stancombe and Garret Lee Donovan Stancombe measure 15οΎ½ inches each and weighed a combined 10 pounds, 8 ounces at birth. To protect their privacy, the hospital was releasing no information to callers about Van Horn or her babies. Van Horn and Stancombe had only one close friend with them in the hospital the day the boys were born. On Friday, they allowed relatives and a few more friends to visit.

For others, Van Horn added one more request for privacy and support for her family on a Facebook post: “I know everyone wants to see them but we are not posting any pictures (and) we would like to thank everyone who has been praying for us...”

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