The boys, Anias and Jadon McDonald, lived for 13 months conjoined by the tops of their heads, with shared brain tissues and entwined blood vessels

By Tiare Dunlap
November 23, 2016 03:00 PM

Formerly conjoined twins Anias and Jadon McDonald began new lives last month when they were separated in a 27-hour surgery.

The boys lived for 13 months conjoined by the tops of their heads, with shared brain tissues and entwined blood vessels.

Now, six weeks after a marathon surgery at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx in New York City, the brothers are set to begin rehab sessions, CNN reports. The pair has made a record recovery and will soon learn to crawl, walk and lift their heads — all things they couldn’t previously do.

In a photo from the recovery room, the boys can be seen looking one another in the eyes for the first time. They both stare with mouths agape, looking stunned.

While they’ve made a speedy recovery, the past month has not been without its challenges: Both boys have had at least one seizure and have required skin grafts following infections in their scalps.

With twins conjoined at the head, there’s always a dominant child whose heart and lungs work overtime to keep the pair alive, their lead surgeon, Dr. James Goodrich, explained to CNN.

Jadon, the dominant twin, has bounced back from surgery and is now a “crazy wild man,” his mom said. He wants to play with anyone who enters his room.

Anias is having more difficulties, suffering from frequent fevers, vomiting and bacterial infections.

But doctors say Anias is getting stronger every day.

“I like that he’s starting to smile at other people,” the twins’ mom, Nicole McDonald, said. “He’s starting to trust people.”

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Jadon’s progress means he’s ready for rehab sooner than his brother, but Goodrich said it’s more beneficial for the two boys to go through the process together.

“Separating the two,” he told CNN, “is probably not a good idea at this point.”

A GoFundMe for the family has raised more than $291,000.