NEW YORK --The conjoined twins from Braidwood, Ill., who underwent a historic surgery for a chance at living two separate and normal lives have captured hearts around the globe.
Born connected at the head, Jadon and Anias underwent a 27-hour surgery beginning last week to separate the two. Now, they are finally resting in separate beds.
Messages of support and encouragement poured in from all over the world as people learned about the story of the two little boys.
"It's just amazing how these people who are total strangers can love our babies, the way they do and you could really feel their love through their messages and just all the donations," said Christian McDonald, the twins' father.
Four days after the historic surgery, mom Nicole can now cuddle up next to Anias in a single twin bed and Jadon is opening his eyes.
"They're doing well. You know. Jadon has his eyes open and he's tracking with his eyes. He wasn't moving his left side for a while, but now he's moving his left arm," Christian McDonald said.
"Jadon, I think he just smiled at me. Yeah, under all that tape. And he's looking at me right in the eye. It's just, he's trying to pull all the tubes out," Nicole McDonald said.
Anias has always been the one to struggle more. After he was born, he had breathing issues, feeding issues, and seizures. Doctors expected his recovery to be slower.
"We knew Anias would struggle more, but I don't know how to say, he's progressing at a slower rate, but still moving forward and there's still so much hope for him and right now he's crying and moving his arm. So I know that he has a lot more recovery to do, but he'll get there. He'll get there. He always surprises us all the time," Nicole said.
"I was just saying he's doing very well, but he's still having some of the seizures and we just appreciate everyone continuing to pray for him, that's what we need the most," Christian said.
"I can only see it on the monitor so I know that he knows I'm here. When I talk to him his heart rate goes down, his blood pressure goes down and he is calmer," Nicole said.
So Nicole reads and sings to her son. Both the boys will go back into the operating room on Thursday to have their head dressings changed. But doctors overall are pleased with their progress.
Nicole and Christian are taking it just one day at a time.
"The first day when Jadon wasn't moving his left side at all and Anias wasn't moving at all, I couldn't stop focusing on it. I couldn't stop thinking that this was permanent. But every day it gets better and I think that's the best part, is that every day there's something new and good to focus on and we just keep doing that," Nicole said.