This is the emotional moment newborn twins who were separated at birth are finally reunited after 133 days apart and reach out to touch one another.
Twins Madden and Maverick were born prematurely at 25 weeks gestation, with Maverick weighing 2lb and Madden 1lb 15oz.
Right after their birth, the babies were separated from their mother, Lindsay Kuhlman, 29, at a hospital in Chandler, Arizona, and taken to St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix, Arizona.
Over the next few days, Lindsay was not able to see her babies – but she was also faced with the news of the bumpy road that lay ahead.
After an initial “honeymoon phase,” Lindsay said, things turned rather quickly, with Madden suffering a severe bleed on the left side of his brain at one week old.
Despite doctors giving the parents the option to turn off their son’s life support, Lindsay said, Madden battled on, undergoing a number of blood transfusions and taking a long list of medications.
Eventually, Maverick was stable enough to be transferred to Phoenix Children’s Hospital, which meant Lindsay, her husband, and their children had to travel between two hospitals.
Madden later followed his brother to Phoenix Children’s Hospital, where doctors told Lindsay he had been diagnosed with cerebral palsy as a result of his brain bleed.
With the two boys continuing their care in the NICU, one evening, Lindsay was asked unexpectedly if she and her husband would like to reunite the twins.
This request came as a complete shock, Lindsay said, as she had only been expecting to hug the boys separately, as she would do most evenings.
Then, after a 133-day separation, the twins were brought together, in a beautiful moment on April 12, 2022, with Lindsay later sharing footage of the moment during the holiday season in 2023.
She said: “The reunion was so unexpected – a lot of the time, we had to go to the NICU in the evening because we had three other children at home.
“On the night this all happened, we were just spending time with the babies and cuddling them like always, and one of the nurses asked us if we wanted to reunite the boys.
“At first, we didn’t believe her – but we said absolutely, and the nurses got the monitors and portable oxygen machines set up, along with everything else we needed to make it work.
“The twins had been separated for so long because of their high medical needs, which we understood and respected.
“But after 133 days, we couldn’t believe it was actually happening – I don’t even know if there are words to describe that feeling.
“After spending so much time praying they would both make it and both just be okay, seeing them together gave me so much hope.
“It’s nearly impossible to grasp onto anything positive or keep your hopes up when you’re so used to just barely getting by in fear of things taking a negative turn.
“Watching them be together and bond so naturally felt like all of our hearts were finally full, and everything was going to be okay.”