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Conjoined twins in Indiana die

 


Conjoined twins in Indiana die

Jan. 26, 2004

By United Methodist News Service*

INDIANAPOLIS (UMNS) - Conjoined twins Stephanie Nicole and Rebecca Marie McCray lived only four days, but they spent their lives surrounded by the love and care of family members and the prayers of United Methodists across Indiana.

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UMNS photo � Clint Keller

Conjoined twins Stephanie Nicole (left) and Rebecca Marie born to April and Rocky McCray on Jan. 20 in Indianapolis.

The twins died at 8:09 p.m. Jan. 24. The cause of death was listed as abnormalities from birth, a hospital spokesperson said. The girls were born Jan. 20 to April and Rocky McCray of Fort Wayne.

The Rev. John and Marsha Boyanowski are maternal grandparents of the babies. Boyanowski is the pastor of Pleasant Lake United Methodist Church, the church the couple attends.

"They appreciated every moment they had with the girls," says the Rev. Larry Ray, superintendent for the Fort Wayne District in which Boyanowski serves. The babies stayed in the hospital room with the family from their birth, he said.

"They have been able to use this time as a witness to God's goodness and love, no matter what was happening," Ray says.

The twins' funeral will be at 1 p.m. Jan. 28 at Huntertown United Methodist Church. The family belonged to Huntertown for many years before Boyanowski became pastor at Pleasant Lake. Burial will be at Highland Park Cemetery in Fort Wayne.

The Fort Wayne District will receive contributions from churches, families and individuals in memory of the twins. The funds will go toward expenses incurred by the family and for any need they have in providing the funeral service. Rays said, "they were covered by medical insurance, however there were many other costs of travel, lodging and meals during the past several days." Contributions may be sent to the Fort Wayne United Methodist District Office, 9430 Lima Road, Suite B, Fort Wayne, IN 46818.

April, 18, and Rocky, 19, learned in August they would be parents to a rare type of conjoined twins called dicephalus, which meant the babies would have separate heads. Doctors had warned the family from the beginning that the babies would probably not survive.

The young couple named the babies as soon as they learned of their condition so they could pray for them by name. The twins were born seven and a half months into term and weighed 8 pounds, 5 ounces.

Boyanowski kept the district updated on the progress of the babies, so Ray and the other clergy members of the Fort Wayne District knew of the pending birth for months. The district sent out requests for prayer for the families after learning of the pregnancy.

"They have hundreds praying with them all over the state and the nation," Ray said, shortly after the babies were born.

Members of Pleasant Lake United Methodist Church, which averages 75 in attendance a week, rallied around the family. They encouraged Boyanowski to take as much time off as needed.

On Jan. 18, the Sunday before the babies were born, the Boyanowskis were called forward by the church and presented with a love offering and keys to a van.

Pleasant Lake and Huntertown churches are planning benefit dinners and fundraisers to help with expenses for the twins.

*Dan Gangler, Indiana Area communications director, and United Methodist News Service writer Kathy L. Gilbert contributed to this story. News media can contact Gilbert at (615) 742-5470 or newsdesk@umcom.org.  News media contact: Kathy Gilbert · (615) 742-5470 · Nashville, Tenn.

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