Four-month-old conjoined twins Mateo and McHale Shaw from Sheboygan in Wisconsin had to undergo a difficult surgery in which they were separated. The two boys shared a spinal cord and were joined at the lower back. Sixty-five surgeons and health workers at Children's National Medical Center in Washington, D.C have successfully performed the surgery that lasted for12 hours.
The boys are doing well but their condition is still critical and they have a long recovery ahead of them.

Before the surgery, the boys had neurological problems like touching one boy’s leg would make another boy’s leg react as well. This was one of the main reasons surgeons suggested separation because they were at risk of developing more shared nerve functions.

The surgery was not considered to be easy because the twins suffered from a neurological deformity called spina bifida and from hydrocephalus, excess spinal fluid. Mateo also suffered from a clubfoot, a deformity of the foot that is twisted at the ankle so that it cannot rest properly on the ground. It was uncertain that the boys would be able to walk after the surgery.

The twins’ parents Ryan Shaw, 28, and Angie Benzschawel, 25 are very happy that everything went well but are also aware of the fact that they have a long road ahead of them.

The surgery and post-op care is estimated to total $5 million to $6 million and the parents have set up a fund for the boys. Anyone who is willing and has possibilities can make some contributions and donate money to branch of the Kohler Credit Union or by mail at Mateo and McHale Shaw Fund, c/o Kohler Credit Union, 850 Woodlake Road, Kohler WI 53044.