Lifestyle & Human Interest

These Parents Refused Abortion, Now Their Formerly Conjoined Twins Just Graduated Preschool


In 2014, doctors advised a Jacksonville, Florida, couple to terminate their pregnancy after it was discovered that their twin boys were conjoined at the sternum. Despite doctors’ dire warnings, the couple chose life for their sons.

Even though it hasn’t been an easy road, the family has praised God for every milestone since the twins’ birth, including the most recent one: graduating preschool.

When doctors first discovered the twins’ rare condition, they told Michelle Brantley and Bryan Mirabal it was unlikely the boys would make it to 32 weeks, as the twins had a mere 25 percent chance of survival, according to First Coast News.

However Brantley’s pregnancy continued without any major issues, and Carter and Conner Mirabal were born on Dec. 12, 2014. They shared a liver and an intestinal tract and their abdominal wall was not completely closed.

A few hours after their birth, the twins underwent their first surgery to repair organ damage. They survived, giving their family hope for whatever would come next.

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Even though the boys survived their first surgery, they still needed to build up strength for their separation surgery. They spent nearly five months in the NICU before the surgery was scheduled, according to First Coast News.

In May 2015, a team of 17 surgical staff successfully separated the twins.

Formerly Conjoined Twins Carter and Conner Go Home

Formerly conjoined twins Carter and Conner celebrated another milestone last week. On Friday, May 6, 2016, one day shy of the anniversary of their separation surgery, Carter was discharged from the hospital and joined his twin brother Conner and the rest of his family where he belongs: at home. We wish Carter and Conner and their family all the best as they enter the next chapter of their journey together.

Posted by Nemours Children's Specialty Care, Jacksonville on Wednesday, May 11, 2016

On the three year anniversary of the surgery, a family member wrote on the Prayers for Carter and Conner Facebook page that the hardest part of that day was watching the boys being wheeled into the operation room, “not knowing the outcome” but relying on their faith.

Do you think the government should protect the lives of unborn children like Carter and Conner?

“We trusted so deeply in their surgeons and in God,” the post continued. “We just knew they would be okay! We knew. We had faith in God and his plan.”

Since then, the boys have faced and overcome plenty of other obstacles, including intensive therapies and more surgeries.

Even though the family has had plenty of trials since 2014, they have never given up in their belief that God had a plan for Carter and Conner. The family has experienced blessing after blessing for that faith — including the twins’ recent graduation from preschool.

“I mean, come on ??? these two have accomplished and been through SO much in their short lives,” a family member wrote on Facebook on May 29.

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“Between being born conjoined, having a 15 hour separation surgery. Poked, prodded, no peace, living in the hospital til they were over a year old. Therapies, doctors, more surgeries. G-tubes, feeds, learning to eat and walk and talk, and now here they are!! Graduating pre-k, something doctors didn’t know if they were gonna be able to do!”

Carter and Conner are an adorable testament to the fact that life is worth fighting for.

Had Brantley and Mirabel listened to doctors’ warnings in 2014, these beautiful boys may never have experienced the life they’ve lived so far or inspired others to believe in miracles.

“Their lives were not promised or guaranteed, but we had faith and they had strength!” a family member wrote on Facebook in 2017.

“They beat all the odds! Seriously, how can you say there is not a God!?”

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Kayla has been a staff writer for The Western Journal since 2018.
Kayla Kunkel began writing for The Western Journal in 2018.
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