Conjoined twins were delivered at a Cincinnati hospital earlier this month after a family, advised “several times” to do so, refused abortion. The twins were born Sept. 5 to Heather and Jason Kroeger of North Carolina and remained healthy in the weeks following their birth, according to reports.
Heather Kroeger gave birth to the twins — Elijah Kroeger and Isaac Kroeger — at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, one of the best medical facilities in the nation for their unique treatment needs, WXIX reported Monday. The boys share some vital organs and cannot be separated, but Jason Kroeger said that abortion “wasn’t an option.”
The couple, who were high school sweethearts, has five other children: Jacob Kroeger, 17, Elizabeth Kroeger, 15, James Kroeger, 13, Isaiah Kroeger, 10, and Julia Kroeger, 4.
“When we found out my wife was pregnant, there was an ultrasound done early on. At that point we were under the impression we had one baby,” Jason Kroeger told WXIX. “And when we went back, there was another ultrasound and at that point, we realized we had two babies.”
He added: “[There was] an initial shock, and a lot goes through your head. But pretty quickly we came to the realization that these are our boys and we’ve gotta do what we can do for them.”
A GoFundMe page set up for the couple Aug. 30 has already raised more than $17,000 of its goal of $25,000.
“It is no surprise that they have been advised several times throughout the pregnancy to abort these two little precious souls,” the page read. “They rejected such a thought right out of hand.”
The couple was advised to go to Cincinnati while Heather Kroeger was 35 weeks pregnant. Their friends reportedly “gave them $500 for gas money and gift cards for food to help get them and their children to Cincinnati,” according to the campaign.
Jason Kroeger said the twins, despite being only a couple weeks old, already have distinct personalities. Isaac is “mellow and calm,” while Elijah is far more animated. He added that while the family will face challenges as the twins continue to grow, he has a “wonderful family” and his older children will step in to help when needed.
WXIX reported that as of Monday, Heather Kroeger remained in Cincinnati with the twins while her husband returned to North Carolina to work and care for their other children.