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Conjoined Twin Boys Who Were Separated Are Leaving Medical City Children’s Hospital

The conjoined twins who were separated last summer are one step closer to going home with their family.

Owen and Emmett Ezell were released Wednesday morning from Medical City Children’s Hospital in Dallas. They’re heading to a local inpatient rehabilitation center.

Instead of being hooked to breathing machines, the 9-month-old boys are breathing on their own, with the assistance of a trachea breathing tube.

Owen and Emmett are no longer being fed through an IV; instead, they’re being fed through tubes in their abdomens. While at the rehabilitation facility, the boys’ parents will learn to manage those tubes until the boys can eat on their own, hospital officials sad.

The babies were born in July, joined at the abdomen. They shared a liver and bowels, and they had a birth defect that left their intestines outside of their bodies and covered by a thin layer of tissue. They were separated Aug. 24 at Medical City Children’s.

Their mother, Jenni Ezell, says the boys are doing "really well." She says they're sitting up on their own and "flirt with all the girls that come in," the Associated Press reports.

See more pictures of the babies.

Here's video of the twins at Medical City:

The Associated Press has more details:

Dr. Clair Schwendeman, a neonatologist, said in August that once the boys were born, tests were done to determine exactly how many connections they had. During the nine-hour surgery, a team of surgeons separated the liver and intestines, with the most difficult part being the separation of a shared blood vessel in the liver. Conjoined twins are rare, occurring in about one in 50,000 to one in 200,000 deliveries, the doctor said. Dave and Jenni Ezell discovered the twins they were expecting were conjoined on March 1, when Jenni Ezell was 17 weeks pregnant. The couple, who now live in Dallas but lived in Oklahoma at the time, said their doctor there gave them little hope the babies would survive.

Eric Aasen is KERA’s managing editor. He helps lead the station's news department, including radio and digital reporters, producers and newscasters. He also oversees, the station’s news website, and manages the station's digital news projects. He reports and writes stories for the website and contributes pieces to KERA radio. He's discussed breaking news live on various public radio programs, including The Takeaway, Here & Now and Texas Standard, as well as radio and TV programs in New Zealand and the United Kingdom.