BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WKRG) — An Alabama pastor and his family are expecting a small miracle soon.
Actually, make that two miracles.
Dwight Castle, pastor of missions at Redeemer Community Church in Birmingham’s Avondale neighborhood, and his wife, Stephanie, already have their hands full with three small children. Now, they have twins on the way. However, 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’re conjoined.
Ultrasound photos show them face-to-face in the womb. Castle said the babies have separate hearts, but share a liver and likely some of a small intestine.
Castle told WKRG News 5 that he and his wife found out she was pregnant late last September. In October, they found out they were twins and in the same amniotic sac. The next month at UAB Maternal Fetal Medicine, they got the biggest news of all. Elizabeth and Susannah are joined in the chest and abdomen region.
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.”