BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WKRG) — An Alabama Pastor and his family are expecting a small miracle very soon, two of them as a matter of fact. Pastor of missions at Redeemer Community Church in Avondale, Dwight Castle and his wife Stephanie already have their hands full with three small children. But they have two more on the way. And these aren’t your average twins. The twins are expected in just a few weeks and already have names, Susannah Jane and Elizabeth Florence. And there’s another thing, — they are conjoined.
Ultrasound photos show them face-to-face in the womb. Castle says the babies have separate hearts, but share liver and likely some of small intestine.
Castle tells WKRG News 5 that he and his wife found out she was pregnant in late September. In October, they found out they were twins and in the same amniotic sac. It was the next month at UAB Maternal Fetal Medicine when they got the biggest news of all. Elizabeth and Susannah are joined in the chest and abdomen region, basically from the heart-level to the belly-button.
A test called a fetal echocardiogram raised concern about a very serious congenital heart condition in one of the babies, so mom went to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia for a multi-day consult in February. Thankfully, that ruled out the concerning heart condition. And they got some more good news — separation would be possible.
“We leave for Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia in less than two weeks for the delivery process,” Castle said. “If all goes well, will bring the babies back to Birmingham for three to six months, then temporarily move back to Philadelphia for three to six months of tissue expansion to prepare for surgery. When they’re ready, separation surgery, then recovery”
WKRG News 5 will keep up with them through their journey and keep you posted.