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Twins Who Survive Surgery In Womb Will Soon Go Home

By Carol Cavazos, CBS 11 News
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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – As identical twins, Jacob and Luke Donley from Keller will probably share a lot growing up. But, it didn’t start out that way in the womb.

“In our case, Luke was hogging all the resources and Jake was getting less of them,” Matt Donley said.

It was a life threatening condition that happens with 10-percent of all identical twins in the womb. Doctors call it Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome.

Dr. Alice King, a pediatrician at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas explains it as, “When they share some of the blood supply from the placenta and sometimes one baby will receive more of the blood than the other.”

If surgery on their blood vessels was not performed to give the babies an equal supply of nutrients, one or both of the babies could have been lost.

Their mother, Aimee Donley, said, “They wouldn’t have survived to be full term.”

“It’s been the most frightening experience of my life so far,” Matt Donley said.

10 years earlier, no surgeon could have helped them. Texas Childrens Hospital in Houston is one of only two hospitals in the nation that performs the surgery today.

Click here to see video from Texas Children’s Hospital of a twin-to-twin transfer procedure.

They performed the hour and a half long procedure in October and the babies were born in November weighing just two pounds each.

Jake and Luke were transferrred closer to home, receiving specialized care at Texas Health Presbyterian in Dallas.  Since their birth, they’ve put on three more pounds.

“The babies are doing great,” Dr. King said.  “They are definitely miracle babies,” Aimee Donley said.

The babies are expected to leave the hospital February 1.  That was their original due date.

Doctors will keep up with the babies as they grow, watching for any problems with their development. The boys’ father says, he’s ready to get the boys home and put a fishing rod in their hands.

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