Babies

‘Their anatomy is like waves crashing together’: Six-year-old conjoined twins who share a body from the sternum down defy doctors who gave them just a 5% chance of survival – as they reach major milestone by starting kindergarten

Six-year-old conjoined twins who are connected from the sternum down have defied all odds and are now navigating kindergarten with their shared body – despite doctors telling their mother they had a five per cent chance of survival. Chelsea Torres, 30, from Blackfoot, Idaho, welcomed her twin daughters, Callie and Carter, with her partner, Nick, in 2017 – and medical professionals said that they likely wouldn’t live very long. Despite physicians warning Chelsea that her daughters may not survive the first few weeks of their lives, Callie and Carter are thriving six years on, and they recently reached a major milestone – starting kindergarten.

While the girls each have their own heart and stomach, they share a liver, intestinal track, and bladder. Each of them can control one leg and two arms.

Six-year-old conjoined twins who are connected from the sternum down have defied all odds and are now navigating kindergarten with their shared body

Six-year-old conjoined twins who are connected from the sternum down have defied all odds and are now navigating kindergarten with their shared body

Chelsea Torres, 30, from Blackfoot, Idaho, welcomed her twin daughters, Callie and Carter, with her partner, Nick, in 2017 - and doctors said they had a five per cent chance of survival

Chelsea Torres, 30, from Blackfoot, Idaho, welcomed her twin daughters, Callie and Carter, with her partner, Nick, in 2017 – and doctors said they had a five per cent chance of survival

Despite physicians warning Chelsea that her daughters may not survive the first few weeks of their lives, Callie and Carter are thriving six years on

Despite physicians warning Chelsea that her daughters may not survive the first few weeks of their lives, Callie and Carter are thriving six years on

While the girls each have their own heart and stomach, they share a liver, intestinal track, and bladder. Each of them can control one leg and two arms

While the girls each have their own heart and stomach, they share a liver, intestinal track, and bladder. Each of them can control one leg and two arms

‘Their top part is themselves, they have two separate stomachs, and where everything starts to get jumbled is in the intestines, they share their bottom half.’ According to Chelsea, her daughters are like any other little girls – and each of them has their own distinct personality, as well as likes and dislikes. ‘I just want people to know that they are just two normal kids,’ she said. ‘They are in an unusual circumstance, but just treat them normal.  ‘They like to be treated like any other kids because they are. They are in school, they go to physical therapy, they do normal activities, they ride bikes.’

Chelsea explained to the Today show that Callie is ‘really girly’ while Carter is the opposite. And like any siblings, they sometimes get sick of one another. ‘We try to give them their own time, even though they’re kind of like stuck together,’ she dished, adding that they’ll put headphones on them and let them watch TV on their tablets if they say they need alone time. ‘Even though Callie and Carter are two individuals put together, you have to remember they are individual children.’

They recently reached a major milestone - starting kindergarten

They recently reached a major milestone – starting kindergarten

According to Chelsea, her daughters are like any other little girls - and each of them has their own distinct personality, as well as likes and dislikes

According to Chelsea, her daughters are like any other little girls – and each of them has their own distinct personality, as well as likes and dislikes

The girls are now perfectly healthy, and use a wheelchair to get around. They are currently learning how to walk by coordinating their movements through physical therapy

The girls are now perfectly healthy, and use a wheelchair to get around. They are currently learning how to walk by coordinating their movements through physical therapy

The girls are now perfectly healthy, and use a wheelchair to get around. They are currently learning how to walk by coordinating their movements through physical therapy. Chelsea said the hardest part is finding clothes that fit their unusual situation. She has to make them stuff to wear by cutting two items of clothing up and sewing them together. She also had to get a custom car seat made by a children’s hospital in Salt Lake City when they were born, which they recently grew out of. She now has to wait until September to get another.  ‘Stuff like that is frustrating,’ she admitted. ‘Yes, they’re going to have challenges, but I know they’re going to be just fine because they have each other.’

Chelsea works hard to raise awareness about conjoined twins, and has become a popular social media star along the way – gaining more than 205,000 followers on TikTok, where she often shares videos of the girls enjoying their lives and doing normal activities like swimming, riding a bike, enjoying the playground, and playing. While she’s very open about her daughters’ story now, it took a while for her to become so comfortable talking about it.

Chelsea said the hardest part is finding clothes that fit their unusual situation. She has to make them stuff to wear by cutting two items of clothing up and sewing them together

Chelsea said the hardest part is finding clothes that fit their unusual situation. She has to make them stuff to wear by cutting two items of clothing up and sewing them together

Chelsea has gained more than 205,000 followers on TikTok, where she often shares videos of the girls doing normal activities like swimming, riding a bike, and enjoying the playground

 

Chelsea has gained more than 205,000 followers on TikTok, where she often shares videos of the girls doing normal activities like swimming, riding a bike, and enjoying the playground

Chelsea has gained more than 205,000 followers on TikTok, where she often shares videos of the girls doing normal activities like swimming, riding a bike, and enjoying the playground

When Chelsea first found out that she was pregnant with conjoined twins in 2016, she told KTVB that she was 'devastated.' But ending the pregnancy never crossed her mind

When Chelsea first found out that she was pregnant with conjoined twins in 2016, she told KTVB that she was ‘devastated.’ But ending the pregnancy never crossed her mind

She admitted to the Today show that she’d actually conceal her daughters under a blanket while out in public at first, after she started noticing people staring at them.

'I definitely wanted to keep the babies, I knew at the very beginning I wanted to keep them,' she said

‘I definitely wanted to keep the babies, I knew at the very beginning I wanted to keep them,’ she said

‘When they were babies, it was hard for me. People would stare and take pictures,’ she told the outlet. ‘I actually ended up smashing someone’s phone. It was just easier to hide them.’

When Chelsea first found out that she was pregnant with conjoined twins in 2016, she told KTVB that she was ‘devastated.’ But ending the pregnancy never crossed her mind.  ‘I definitely wanted to keep the babies, I knew at the very beginning I wanted to keep them,’ she said.

She had a C-section at 36 weeks, and the girls were born in January 2017. And while the initial plan was to have them undergo surgery to separate them, they were told by doctors it would be too risky.

She had a C-section at 36 weeks, and the girls were born in January 2017. And while the initial plan was to have them undergo surgery to separate them, they were told it would be too risky

She had a C-section at 36 weeks, and the girls were born in January 2017. And while the initial plan was to have them undergo surgery to separate them, they were told it would be too risky

The girls spent five weeks in the NICU while under intense observation, before they were given the go-ahead to go home

The girls spent five weeks in the NICU while under intense observation, before they were given the go-ahead to go home

Neither of the girls have expressed any interest in separating, and Chelsea told Today that the surgery would be 'extremely risky'

Neither of the girls have expressed any interest in separating, and Chelsea told Today that the surgery would be ‘extremely risky’

'They don't know any other way of life,' she explained. 'When people ask if they want to be separated, they're like, "Huh? Why?"'

'They don't know any other way of life,' she explained. 'When people ask if they want to be separated, they're like, "Huh? Why?"'

‘They don’t know any other way of life,’ she explained. ‘When people ask if they want to be separated, they’re like, “Huh? Why?”‘

The girls spent five weeks in the NICU while under intense observation, before they were given the go-ahead to go home.

However, she added that she's open to looking into it in the future if it's something the twins want. She added: 'If they say we want to be separated, we will try'

However, she added that she’s open to looking into it in the future if it’s something the twins want. She added: ‘If they say we want to be separated, we will try’

‘The doctors said, “Nothing is wrong with them, they are perfect, they are healthy, take them home and treat them like normal kids.” So, that’s what we did,’ Chelsea recalled.

Neither of the girls have expressed any interest in separating, and Chelsea told Today that the surgery would be ‘extremely risky.’ However, she added that she’s open to looking into it in the future if it’s something the twins want. ‘They don’t know any other way of life,’ she explained. ‘When people ask if they want to be separated, they’re like, “Huh? Why?”‘ ‘If they say we want to be separated, we will try. I will tell them they have to listen to what the doctors say – you have to understand the odds, if you want to go through with it, and do it, then I will support it,’ she added to KTVB. ‘For now, it’s not my choice to make. It’s such a dangerous surgery, it’s just not my choice to make for them. They are not broken to me.’

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button