Posted: Oct 20, 2011 11:11 am
by Rachel Bronwyn
Watching them type or play baseball is unreal. They don't need to communicate or even think in order to coordinate their actions. They just do. Swinging a baseball bat or running is something they can do with every bit as much ease as anyone who is in control of both arms and legs. When one is typing an instant message to a friend they use both hands despite one of those hands belonging to their sister. What's mind-blowing is they learnt skills involving coordination like clapping and walking at the same speed as other kids. You ask them how they accomplish these things and they say "I don't know" or "I just do" or "It just happens".

Beyond their unique body, they're really kind, clever ladies to listen to, which is so important.

BC Women's Hospital in Vancouver was the location for the birth of a pair of conjained twins a few years ago. The whole story was sad. They're an extreme case of craniopagus twins. They're conjoined at the top, back and side of their heads. Despite being capable of walking, it does a lot of harm due to the angle their upper body is held at thanks to the connection at their heads. Within a year of life the smaller, weaker twin's heart was pumping to a much larger extent than her sisters so the bigger twin required surgery in order to kick her heart into gear and give her tiny sister's heart a rest. Now the little one is struggling with sleep apnea and stops breathing for up to twenty-seconds in her sleep which she required surgery for. They share a thalamus. Visual cortex signals are recieved by the brain of the child who isn't looking at whatever the other is, resulting in that child seeing the sights of their sibling.

Their mom was maybe twenty-one when they were born and already had multiple children. Within a couple years of their birth, she had another. Who knows about Dad. They're basically being raised by their grandmother, who doesn't have money either. Right to Life gave their mom something like $5,000 prior to their birth. $5,000 doesn't get you anywhere with special needs kids. I sincerely hope that contract with Discovery and National Geographic is treating them well.

It's interesting stuff but, unlike the Hensel girls, I see these kids spending most of their lives in surgery and recovery. I sincerely hope I'm wrong.