Heart-warming video shows conjoined twins cuddling following separation surgery

Anias and Jadon McDonald are doing well following separation surgery.
Anias and Jadon McDonald are doing well following separation surgery. Photo: Facebook/Nicole McDonald

A heart-warming video shows twin brothers who were born co-joined at the head cuddling each other just weeks after separation surgery.

The adorable clip, posted on Facebook by Nicole McDonald, shows her 14-month-old sons Anias and Jadon, "chatting" to each other and their parents. Jadon babbles "Dada" as Anias cuddles his brother.
The boys before separation surgery.
The boys before separation surgery. Photo: Facebook/Nicole McDonald

The video comes six weeks after surgeons in New York carried out the risky 16 hour surgery to separate the boys.

Anias and Jadon, who have a three-year-old brother Aza, were born via caesarean section in September 2015. Mrs McDonald learnt the twins were conjoined during a routine scan in early pregnancy.

The boys are craniopagus twins, which is an extremely rare condition and occurs just once in every 2.5million births. They were not expected to survive past two years of age if they were not separated.

A team of the world class surgeons led by top craniopagus neurosurgeon Dr James Goodrich spent months preparing for the separation surgery which was carried out in late October.

The medical team used 3D models of the boys' skulls and brains to predict how the intricate surgery would unfold. The boys had already undergone three operations to stretch their skin so it could be sewn together once they were separated.

Dr Goodrich, who has operated on seven other sets of craniopagus twins, told CNN the delicate surgery was necessary for the boys' long term quality of life but came with the risk of brain damage or even death of the boys. 

Jadon, who was the strongest twin before the surgery, coped well with the separation and is thriving.

Anias, who was already having health struggles before the operation, found the surgery more difficult and continues to contract viruses and infections.

But their surgeon Dr Goodrich is optimistic that both boys will do well as they continue to recover and rehabilitate.