Conjoined twins Carl and Clarence Aguirre recently celebrated ten years of separation. The Negrenese children were formally separated on August 4, 2004, following four surgeries spanning nine months. The New York team of surgeons who performed the surgeries was led by pediatric neurosurgeon Dr. James Goodrich.
On Monday many of the doctors, along with the formerly conjoined twins and their single mom Arlene, celebrated their separation at the hospital.
“The people coming to the party are Filipino friends, doctors, nurses and friends of Clarence and Carl,” Arlene told the media.
Carl and Clarence Aguirre have very distinct personalities these days.
“Carl is the quiet one. He likes to be alone sometimes and likes to play video games. He still loves The Wiggles. Carl developed seizures two years after the separation but his medical condition is getting better,” their mom says.
“Clarence is the outgoing kid, very sweet, very protective of his brother and very independent. He likes to dance and sing. He loves Michael Jackson, Maroon 5, Usher and One Direction. He likes playing video games, mostly superheroes. He is very helpful in the house,” she added.
— The Philippine Star (@PhilippineStar) August 5, 2014
The entire process of having conjoined twins was compounded for Arlene Aguirre because she is a single mother and not a U.S. citizen, meaning she has no means of gaining employment.
“The only thing that makes it a little bit better is because Montefiore helps me out with everything. And I have a lot of support and friends,” she said.
Montefiore, New York is the city the Aguirre family now calls home. They are there on a medical visa.
Dr. Ceres Baldevia is a Negrense doctor known for volunteering her services for free. She is proud that the conjoined twins were once her patients. She referred them to the Children’s Hospital at Montefiore, New York, when they were a year old.
“They are now 12-year-olds,” she said.
Baldevia now lives in San Francisco. She added that Clarence and Carl still wear helmets to protect their skulls but once they are fully grown their skulls will be patched.
Baldevia also said that the twins are under frequent medical observation and will likely have to remain in the United States permanently. Their multimillion-dollar operations and medical upkeep have been shouldered by the hospital.
The hospital produced the following video clip about the conjoined twins a couple of years back.
There have been fewer than twenty known cases of conjoined twins born around the world thus far in the 21st century--meaning Clarence and Carl are nothing short of a miracle.
How wonderful that these conjoined twins are now celebrating ten years of separation. Just a few short decades ago they wouldn't have had the chance to undergo these successful successions of surgical procedures.
Image via YouTube