In 2014, doctors in Jacksonville, Florida, advised a couple to terminate their pregnancy after discovering that their twin boys were conjoined at the sternum. Despite the physicians’ advice, the couple chose life for their sons.
Michelle Brantley and Bryan Mirabal were informed their babies wouldn’t live to be 32 weeks old and only had a 25% chance of surviving. Her pregnancy went off without a hitch, and on December 12, 2014, Carter and Conner Mirabal were born.
Their livers and intestinal tracts were shared, and their abdominal walls were not entirely closed. They survived their initial surgery to heal organ damage, but they needed more strength to go through their separation surgery. As a result, they spent 5 months in the NICU before the procedure.
The twins were successfully separated in May 2015 by a team of 17 surgical personnel. Carter returned home in good health on Friday, May 6, 2016, one day before the one-year anniversary of their separation operation. He was reunited with his twin brother Conner and the rest of his family.
A family member posted on the Prayers for Carter and Conner’s Facebook page on their third anniversary that the hardest part of that day was witnessing the boys being taken into the operating room, “not knowing the outcome” but trusting in their faith. “We have complete faith in their surgeons and in God,” the message said. “We just knew they’d be fine!” We were aware of the situation. We trusted God and his plan.”
Since then, the boys have conquered numerous further challenges, including intensive therapy and additional surgeries. The family never gave up on these two, and they are currently enjoying their recent preschool graduation. On May 29, a family member said on Facebook, “I mean, come on, these two have accomplished and been through SO much in their little lives.”
“Between being born conjoined and undergoing a 15-hour procedure to separate them. They were poked, prodded, and kept in the hospital until they were almost a year old. More procedures, more therapies, more physicians. G-tubes, feeding tubes, learning to eat, walk, and talk, and now they’re here!! Graduating from pre-kindergarten, something physicians didn’t think they’d be able to do!”
Carter and Conner are live proof that it is worth battling for one’s life. In 2017, a family member commented on Facebook, “Their lives were not promised or guaranteed, but we had faith and they had strength!” “They defied all odds!” Seriously, how can you deny that there is a God!?”