Newly separated conjoined twins Jadon and Anias McDonald have opened their eyes for the first time.
Relieved parents Nicole and Christian report that there is still a long way to go in their recovery after the marathon 27-hour separation surgery in the US.
But the early signs are encouraging at Montefiore Hospital in New York as the 13-month-old boys slowly start to discover a whole new world.
Reports say that Jadon, who was relatively stable throughout the surgery, has made an incredibly fast recovery.
He’s already moving his left arm, and doctors are now working on getting the same responses from his left leg.
The most heart-warming signs are that he’s reacting to people.
He’s already opening his eyes and now starting to smile.
Anias has been a little slower to bounce back – he struggled more than his brother through surgery – but he thrilled doctors when he first opened his eyes.
The boys shared a lot more blood vessels than their surgeon had anticipated, say reports.
Christian told CNN that the next step is getting them lying next to each other in the same bed.
Meanwhile, mum Nicole shared a photo of them together when they were first reunited last week.
“Finally reunited. How surreal,” the 31-year-old wrote on Facebook.
“I now realise that I always saw you as separate because seeing you like this is really nothing different to me.
“When I stand at your bedside, Jadon, it’s almost as if Anias is still there. Anias, when I leaned over you I protected my hair from Jadon. But the view is still the same.
“This is how I always saw you. I love you so much. Now it’s time to step forward into the new chapter of our life. I’m ready to fight and I know you are too.”
She also took time to thanks the surgeons and the thousands of people around the world who donated to the GoFundMe page that made the surgery possible.
“We definitely couldn’t have done it without them,” Christian said.
Since the surgery started, their fundraising page has swelled from some US$50,000 to more than US$270,000. The family is now asking anyone who wants to help the twins to instead make a donation to a friend whose child is in need of a kidney transplant.