Callie and Carter Torres were diagnosed with omphalo-ischiopagus – a rare condition that affects fewer than 5% of conjoined twins throughout the world. Despite the diagnosis, their parents Chelsea and Nick Torres refused to have an abortion.
“Doctors usually give conjoined twins about a 5% chance of being born alive and after that, a 2% chance of surviving 24 hours,” Chelsea says.
The couple decided to move to Texas instead so their babies could get specialised care at the Texas Children’s Hospital. Callie and Carter were born with a separate heart and stomach each, but they were joined at the pelvic area.
The babies were born healthy, and in a controversial decision, Chelsea and Nick decided not to let the twins undergo the separation surgery, which could be potentially fatal, but also at the same time, provide Callie and Carter with independent lives.
Says Chelsea: “We initially thought that separation surgery was the best way to go, but after they were born the doctors sat us down and told us that the girls didn’t need to be separated because they were completely healthy as they were. Separating them would essentially break apart two good things that could lead to some serious health complications.”
Now, 3 years after their birth, Callie and Carter are starting to walk. “The twins have started to learn to coordinate their walking,” says Chelsea. They each have control of 2 arms and 1 leg.
“The girls aren’t able to walk on their own quite yet, but with a little bit of help and flipping themselves against the couch, they’re able to move around the house,” says Chelsea.
Watch the video of their progress below:
Xanet is an award-winning journalist and Living and Loving’s digital editor. She has won numerous awards for her health and wellness articles and was a finalist for the Discovery Journalist of the Year in 2009 and again in 2011 for the Discovery Best Health Consumer Reporting and Feature Writing category. She is responsible for our online presence across social media channels and makes sure our moms have fresh and interesting articles to read every day. Learn more about Xanet Scheepers.