Conjoined Twins: One Body, Two Faces
Renee Young and Simon Howie, who already have seven other children, welcomed their twins, via emergency C-section, on Thursday, at Westmead Children’s Hospital in Sydney, Australia.
While each and every birth is a special event, this birth was extra unique. The twins Hope and Faith were born conjoined with a rare congenital disorder called diprosopus. Young and Howie found out about their twin’s disorder during their 19-week ultrasound, so they were prepared when the girls were born with one body and two faces.
Although the girls share a cranium, they each have a separate face and brain. They also share one set of limbs and organs. While most would see the twins as one child because of their appearance, Howie explains that they see them as their twins- two separate human beings.
“Even though there is only one body, we call them our twins,” Howie said. “To us, they are our girls and we love them.”
To date, there have been on 40 cases of twins born with two faces. Of those 40, very few survived past birth. However, despite the statistics, the girls are currently doing well. “They are breathing perfectly on their own and feeding. They are little Aussie fighters.”
Because their condition is so rare, the doctors are monitoring Hope and Faith very closely and currently do not know how long they will remain in the hospital. “We have no idea how long they will be in hospital,” said Howie. “We just want to bring them home, happy and healthy to make our family a little bit bigger and a bit more chaotic.”
Image via Wikimedia Commons