Indiana family celebrates birth of conjoined twins
Indiana family celebrates birth of conjoined twins
Jan. 22, 2004
(UMNS) - United Methodists "in hundreds of churches" are joining in
prayers for conjoined twins Stephanie Nicole and Rebecca Marie, born to
April and Rocky McCray on Jan. 20 at St. Vincent's Hospital.
UMNS photo � Clint Keller.
Rocky McCray kisses his wife, April, after the birth of their conjoined daughters.
McCray kisses his wife, April, after the birth of their conjoined
daughters, Stephanie Nicole (left) and Rebecca Marie at St. Vincent's
Hospital in Indianapolis. United Methodists "in hundreds of churches"
are joining in prayers the twins. A UMNS photo � Clint Keller. Photo
number 04-019, Accompanies UMNS #020, 1/22/04 Editors note: A
high-resolution version of this photograph is available only to United
Methodist Church publications. Mandatory credit: photo � Clint Keller.
Rev. John Boyanowski and his wife, Marsha, are maternal grandparents of
the babies. Boyanowski is the pastor of Pleasant Lake United Methodist
Church, which the McCrays attend.
underestimate God," Boyanowski said, as he, his wife and members of the
church surrounded the young couple in celebrating the birth of their
18, and Rocky, 19, learned in August they would be parents to a rare
type of conjoined twins called dicephalus, which means they have
separate heads. The babies are joined from the shoulder to below, and
they share two legs and two normal arms. The twin's remaining arms are
fused together around their heads.
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.
doctor reports are not very good," said the Rev. Larry Ray,
superintendent of the Fort Wayne District, where Boyanowski serves. Ray
is in continual contact with the family.
reported the family is not expecting the conjoined twins to live long
and has planned for no life support. "They're wanting to make a witness
out of this," Ray said. "They're putting this in God's hands."
has kept the district updated on the progress of the babies, so Ray and
the other clergy members of the Fort Wayne District have known 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.
is an amazing young woman," said the Rev. Rob Barton, a family friend
and pastor at Huntertown United Methodist Church. The Boyanowskis were
once members of Huntertown.
is able to hold joy and sorrow together at the same time without
falling apart," he said. "Her demeanor through this whole thing reveals
an inner strength I cannot imagine an 18-year-old having."
UMNS photo � Clint Keller
Conjoined twins Stephanie Nicole (left) and Rebecca Marie born to April and Rocky McCray on Jan. 20 in Indianapolis.
Methodists "in hundreds of churches" are joining in prayers for
conjoined twins Stephanie Nicole (left) and Rebecca Marie born to April
and Rocky McCray on Jan. 20 at St. Vincent's Hospital in Indianapolis. A
UMNS photo � Clint Keller. Photo number 04-018, Accompanies UMNS #020,
1/22/04 Editors note: A high-resolution version of this photograph is
available only to United Methodist Church publications. Mandatory
credit: photo � Clint Keller.
Barton, who has visited with the family and seen the babies, said, "They are beautiful little girls."
parents are doing well, Boyanowski said. "Their faith in God has
brought them through all of this. They keep telling everyone God has a
purpose for this."
a father, he said he just stands back and watches God's grace unfold in
April and Rocky's lives, as the two have experienced more than most
couples do in 20 years.
a pastor, I stand back in awe." He baptized Stephanie and Rebecca
shortly after their births. He also baptized Rocky after the couple
found out their babies were conjoined.
conjoined twins were breathing on their own as of Jan. 22, but were
hooked up to feeding tubes because they were in the stage where babies
learn to suck, eat and swallow.
"They're doing remarkably well. They are so amazing," Boyanowski said.
"We do have a flood of emotions," he said. "With every moment, there is good and bad.
"We want to embrace every moment with the girls. We've been holding them since they were born. We just have not put them down."
spokesperson at the hospital reported the babies were still in critical
condition. It was unclear when April would be released from the
hospital, but she hoped to bring the babies home with her when she
of Pleasant Lake United Methodist Church, which averages 75 in
attendance a week, have rallied around the family. They have encouraged
Boyanowski to take as much time off as needed.
Sunday before the babies were born, Jan. 18, the Boyanowskis were
called forward by the church and presented with a love offering and keys
to a van.
Lake and Huntertown churches are planning benefit dinners and
fundraisers to help with expenses for the twins. "They've surrounded us
with prayer and accepted April and Rocky since the beginning,"
and Rocky live with the Boyanowskis in Fort Wayne. Furniture and
baby-supply shopping will be done shortly, since the family did not know
what to expect or how long the girls would survive. "We didn't know
what to expect," Boyanowski said. "Now the dream is coming to reality."
he first found out the twins were conjoined, he thought of Psalm 46,
which reminds us of how God is a refuge and strength in all times, he
seeing church congregations coming together. We're seeing families come
together." Boyanowski said strangers have stopped family members to
wish them well and express prayer support. "Everyone's in unison praying
for two little girls," he said. "How can you not be encouraged and see
how God's hand is in this?
"I know Sunday, if they're going to be home, they're going to church. We're going to live normal lives as much as we can."
Oates, North Indiana correspondent for the Indiana Area Office of the
United Methodist Church, 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 email@example.com.