@@ Formerly Conjoined Twins Finally Share Their Journey 18 Years After Separation

For Mackenzie and Macy Garrison, life hasn’t been without its struggles. They’ve dealt with tough homework, taking on after-school jobs, and finding the best times to hang out with friends. More importantly, they have navigated their lives as separate individuals, thanks to a successful operation. The twins were born conjoined, and before the surgery, their path in life was uncertain. The only guarantee was their incredible bond.

Three Together

The Garrison girls were born as triplets. While Madeline was born healthy, Macey and Mackenzie faced some serious risks. Conjoined at the pelvis, these sisters faced a very different path in life. Their parents had to make a series of gut-wrenching decisions.

Good Doctor

Ten months after their birth, the girls faced a choice that determined the future of their family. The chief medical officer at the Los Angeles’ Children’s Hospital, Dr. James Stein, came forward to head an operation that could help the babies.

Planning Ahead

Dr. Stein was adamant about completing the operation. After all, while the planned surgery was not going to be easy, Stein knew it was necessary if the girls were to enjoy an independent life. Though this was no routine procedure.


Making the surgery more complicated was that the girls’ shared a third leg, and their intestines were entwined. Besides the internal challenges, an external one surfaced: Their birth parents had drug addictions and gave the girls over for adoption.

Careful Precision

But those personal issues couldn’t delay the procedure any longer. During a 24-hour long operation in 2003, Dr. Stein led a team of surgeons in meticulously separating Macey and Mackenzie. If all went according to plan, both of the twins would be left with one leg.

A New Family

By the last hour, the doctors knew the surgery’s objective had been accomplished. Still, because of the parents’ addiction issues, the future of all three sisters was hanging in limbo. Two years later, positive news developed.

Big and Wholesome

The twins and their other sister were adopted by Darla Keller and Jeff Garrison. They took the girls to their home in Iowa, where with three biological sons, the Garrison family grew. Three sisters now had three brothers.

Treated Right

Living on a farm, the sisters thrived. Both Darla and Jeff treated them as regular kids and it helped tremendously. Macey and Mackenzie may still have had difficulties, but they had a strong determination as well.

Later Obstacles

Due to their amputations, the two relied on prosthetics to stay mobile. Several more medical issues came about as the years went by. Spinal infusions caused issue for the twins, but they persevered. Soon, a big milestone loomed ahead.

Another Step into Life

During the fall of 2020, the triplets entered their senior year of high school. Two decades of their life have almost been completed. For the first time, they could really start looking ahead to a future of their own making.

One Decision

Madeline, after years of watching the medical help given to her sisters, became interested in a career in the nursing field. She wanted to narrow her focus onto geriatric patients with Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.

New Direction

Mackenzie had not made definite plans on her future just yet, although she realized she had a passion for agriculture. As for Macey, she has started plans to become a kindergarten teacher. One person could hardly believe the strides they’d made.

Long Time, No See

Even after all these years later, Dr. Stein wasn’t forgotten. The twins may not have seen him in over a decade, but that didn’t stop them from communicating. Their experience has keep them connected in unexpected ways.

Doctor Reminder

The twins have given their doctor the title of “the coolest person ever” and sent over emails to keep him up to date. Dr. Stein, on his part, became ecstatic by the continued contact. He hasn’t been shy about singing their praises.

Happy Reflection

In People’s “Formerly Conjoined Twins and Their Sister Enjoy Being ‘Normal,'” Dr. Stein gushed about the the girls. “It’s been a wonderful experience following the girls themselves and staying in touch with them.”

Long Time Coming

Dr. Stein had the pleasure to watch as the babies recovered, grew, and matured into two very healthy individuals. The careful work that he and the other doctors performed that day in 2003 paid off well. However, the Garrison girls admitted they were a bit puzzled about all that publicity.

Common Thoughts

While the twins made headlines during their birth and surgery, both Macey and Madeline have continued to find their prominence in the news, rather odd. Even their sister Madeline could never wrap her head around it.

Sibling Bond

For all three girls, there were simply sisters to one another. The fact that the whole country knew who they were has hardly fazed them, though. They never wanted to become public figures; instead, their personal lives came first.

Future So Bright

Their mother, Darla, was possibly the most excited to see where their future may lead. “I’m relieved because, like I said, we always knew there were going to be bumps in the road and issues,” she said. But fortunately, “They’re just like their peers.”

So Many Paths

For the Garrison family, a few siblings grew up slightly different but were never treated as such. Thanks to that, Macey, Mackenzie and the rest of their family have long since been prepared for their next transition in life. The Garrisons have also had the moral support of other families with less than usual baby deliveries.

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