ASHEBORO, N.C. -- It's the hardest decision Grayson and Candice McNeill had to make.
"They were perfect, they were beautiful," says Candice.
Her babies, Emily and Sophie, were born conjoined twins. They each had their own heart, spine and head but they shared a body. An unimaginable pregnancy, but a miracle nonetheless.
"They'd always grab on to your inner index and hold your finger very tight," Candice tells.
The McNeill's say they found out they were going to have conjoined twins 15 weeks into the pregnancy. When asked if they wanted to terminate the pregnancy, they said it wasn't an option.
"We knew from the beginning it was right to give them the chance at life."
The twins were born on October 26, 2017 at the Cincinnati Children's Hospital, where Candice and Grayson had to go for specialized care.
Candice stayed in Ohio for 70 days, staying at the Ronald McDonald House and spending time in the NICU whenever she could with her daughters.
"It was hard because at the NICU you had to sign in to see your baby, you had to get permission if you wanted to hold your baby," Candice explains.
Grayson went back and forth tending to their house and their three other girls at home in Asheboro. The twins had complications from the beginning. There were problems with breathing and organs not working.
"Sometimes bad things happen to good people and that's okay," says Grayson. "The Lord never removes suffering but he always takes us through it."
They hit a point where their girls weren't going to get better. Their options were wait for them to suffer cardiac arrest or take them off life-support.
"To me it wasn't even choice," Candice explains. "You did the best for your children because you love them."
"We just decided this is enough, they're not going to make it," Grayson adds. "We prayed together and made the decision to take the vents out. It was definitely the hardest thing I've ever done."
After 5 weeks and 3 days with Emily and Sophie, they let go.
"This was the first death I experienced and it was my own children and it was beautiful."
Some solace after weeks of dread, wondering what could happen, what could go wrong. They came to terms there was a bigger plan for their babies.
"Two beautiful little angels that were borrowed to us for a certain time. They were just like little angels, they really were."
Communities in both Asheboro and Ohio helped the family during their entire journey. Several fundraisers were held for the family. There was even a donated Christmas tree ready for them when they came home from the hospital Monday.
"When things like this happen, bills keep coming," Grayson tells. "Life goes on and through people giving we didn't have to worry about anything."
The family will be holding services for Emily and Sophie Friday, December 8, 2017. Services will be held at Bailey's Grove Baptist Church in Asheboro. Visitation will be from 9:30-10:45 in the morning, with a service starting at 11 a.m.
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