Conjoined At Birth: The Silver And Black Story Of Uriah And Isaiah Lopez

This is the story of Uriah Augie Lopez and Isaiah Michael Lopez. Their story is one about family, but also a little about Raider football.

Uriah and Augie entered the world September 19, 2016. Conjoined at birth, the twins were given very little chance to survive. This is a portion of their story as told by their father – a die hard Raiders fan from Arizona.

Uriah Augie Lopez and Isaiah Michael Lopez were born at Good Samaritan Medical Center on 9/19/16. With the hospital already knowing they were conjoined, they were prepared for our big day. The delivery room must have been filled with 60 doctors and nurses. It was crazy. They all did a great job and the boys came out crying. Everyone was tearing up. The boys were stabilized and were doing fine, but needed to get to Phoenix Children’s Hospital for a more thorough look at them.

They were transported to Phoenix Children’s Hospital two days later with mom checking herself out of the hospital to be with the boys. Phoenix Children’s Hospital helped figure out what to do as it was a learning experience for everyone. The twins had everything, but shared a left ventricle of the heart and a conjoined liver.

The boys both helped each other. What one couldn’t do the other would do it for him and vice versa. Make no mistake about it, they were brothers and would fight to get comfortable, but at the end of the day they helped each like any brother would.

The doctors placed the twins on a medication that would keep the left ventricle open – it usually closes on its own after a day or two, but it needed to stay open to help Isaiah’s blood flow to his heart. After extensive x-rays and cat scans, the doctors sat down with me and my wife, Rena, and told us that there was nothing they could do. They were not comfortable doing the surgery. They said they would take them off the medication and make them comfortable and we could be with them until they passed away.

Well, that wasn’t an option for us.

We wanted to give them every opportunity to make it that we could. There was no medicine available to take them home to keep that valve open – it was hospital medication only. Rena had done extensive investigation before they were even born to see what hospitals had done elsewhere that were successful at separation surgery. Colorado Children’s Hospital was one that wanted to take us on even before the boys were born. At that point, we had no choice but to reach back out to Colorado to see if there was anything they could do.

Two doctors soon flew here to Arizona evaluate our boys. They sat down with us and told us it would be a very long journey if the boys were to make it. There would be a series of things to do before separation was even an option and the boys would have to take to what they had to do before they could even attempt a separation. In our eyes there was hope, so we took them up on it. Our little guys got a first class ticket on Colorado’s Children’s hospital’s leer jet and Rena was able to go with them. I drove to meet them so Rena was able to have a car while she was there. I wasn’t going to be able to stay there through it all because I had work and the girls had school. I did fly to Colorado every time a procedure was done.

Watching the Raiders games in the room and messing with all the doctors and nurses. Remember, the Broncos just came off a Super Bowl win and everyone there was a Broncos fans. Meanwhile, this season, the Raiders were putting in work. It was cool putting all the Raiders gear on the boys and all over the room.

I was able to fly all the girls down there so we all could be together for Thanksgiving. It was a little hard having Thanksgiving in a hospital but the nurses made it fun for all, and It was very special to be all together. I even sneaked my little guys in some gravy and they loved it.

The doctors did a variety of different ultra sounds, x-rays, and cat-scans and determined that they would have to survive the closing of that heart valve in order to do a separation down the road. So they did a temporary close of that valve to see how they would handle it. The boys seemed to do alright during the procedure. We had very high hopes and were praying every day even before they were born and had so many other family and friends praying as well.

The doctors were pushing to do the permanent closing of the valve surgery in mid-December. We wanted to push it until after Christmas because they were both alert and active and we weren’t sure how they were going to take to the surgery, but the doctors insisted on doing it right away and the surgery took place December 16, 2016.

The doctors performed the surgery and everything looked alright for the first few days. Then things took a turn for the worst and Isaiah stopped responding on December 18. Uriah would respond to our voices and squeeze our fingers but wouldn’t open his eyes. In the early morning hours of December 22, we lost Isaiah. Uriah followed his brother to heaven one minute later.

Before the surgery, we had promised our girls the family would all be together for Christmas. God bless my wife because I was so lost I wasn’t even able to function or think straight. For us to come home and leave them there (for up to two weeks because of the Christmas holiday) wasn’t an option. Rena made calls and managed get all the necessary paperwork to bring them home. A day later, we drove our sons straight home from Colorado to Phoenix and to the funeral home where they would be laid to rest a few days later.

It was a sad day, but we were all together for Christmas.

Isaiah Michael and Uriah Augie Lopez were born to Robert and Rena Lopez and share three sisters – Elissa, Danielle, and Isabel. The Lopez twins lived 94 days. For their short time here, they were Raider fans. From the day they were born to the day they arrived at the funeral home, their mother, Rena, never left their side.

twitter: @raidersbeat