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Children’s Hospital at Montefiore Receives Special Proclamations From New York State Legislature Honoring Successful Surgical Separation of Craniopagus Twins, Jadon and Anias McDonald

NEW YORK (February 28, 2017) –The Children’s Hospital at Montefiore (CHAM) today received proclamations from the New York State Senate and Assembly in honor of the October 14, 2016 surgery, which successfully separated 13-month-old craniopagus twin boys, Jadon and Anias McDonald. A team of approximately 50 expert surgical and medical providers were involved, many of whom were on hand to accept the honor.

“We are humbled and grateful that our distinguished friends in the State Legislature are recognizing our work today,” said Steven M. Safyer M.D., president and CEO, Montefiore Medicine. “This operation represents the best of what Montefiore is and does:  The separation of Jadon and Anias required teamwork and expertise at every level including clinical excellence, innovative research, and a profound commitment to the entire McDonald family.”

The separation, led by James T. Goodrich, M.D., Ph.D., D.Sci. (Hon.), director, Pediatric Neurosurgery, CHAM and professor, Clinical Neurological Surgery, Pediatrics and Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Oren Tepper, M.D., director, Craniofacial and Aesthetic Surgery, Montefiore and assistant professor of Surgery, Einstein, marked the first time the Montefiore Einstein team used virtual planning and 3D printing technologies to map their way through the boys’ attached brains in a series of complex, high-risk surgeries that resulted in the complete separation on October 14.

The resolution was sponsored by Senators Jeff Klein (D-Bronx/Westchester), Kemp Hannon (R-Garden City), Senate Health Committee Chairman and David Valesky (D-Syracuse), Senate Health Committee Vice-Chairman.  They were joined by Assembly colleagues Speaker Carl Heastie (D-The Bronx), Jeffrey Dinowitz (D-The Bronx), Marcos Crespo (D-The Bronx), Mark Gjonaj (D-The Bronx) and Mike Benedetto (D-The Bronx).   

The multidisciplinary team including Drs. Goodrich, Tepper and Joaquim M. Farinhas, M.D., neuro-radiologist, Department of Radiology, Montefiore and Kamilah A. Dowling, D.N.P., nurse practitioner, Division of Pediatric Neurosurgery, CHAM, planned each stage of the separation using virtual planning technology to create the 3D models of the boys’ brains and skull. The models were used as guides for the procedures, allowing the team to carefully plan each stage in advance, mapping out the boys’ anatomy prior to incision.

The McDonalds are the seventh set of craniopagus conjoined twins Dr. Goodrich and the CHAM team have successfully separated with various surgical teams from around the world. Dr. Goodrich and his team at CHAM have now consulted on a total of 21 sets of craniopagus conjoined twins. Each set of separations has resulted in good outcomes with no deaths or severe morbidities.

Jadon and Anias McDonald were discharged from CHAM nine weeks after their separation and are receiving specialized rehabilitation care at Blythedale Children's Hospital, in Westchester, NY.

Now 17 months old, the boys will return to CHAM regularly for follow-up care with Dr. Tepper.  Dr. Goodrich will also continue to closely monitor the boys’ progress.