In your life, you have probably encountered twins, may be identical or fraternal. It’s not that uncommon these days. But do you know any conjoined twins? Conjoined twins only happen 1 in every 189,000 births, usually the half of those births are stillbirths or death occurs in the first 24 hours.
Meet the Hogan twins they each have their own brain but are joined by a thalamic bridge. “The thalamus is essentially the control room for the brain. It relays messages about motor signals, sensory responses, and is what keeps the brain consciousness.”
Though a lot of families consider surgery for separation of conjoined twins, the Hogans had a CT scan that revealed that Tatiana and Krista aren’t candidates for this surgery. It would be a great risk of death or serious injury. When the twins were born there was a team of doctors including neurosurgeon Doug Cochrane.
“At the time [they were born],” Dr. Cochrane said, “the immediate reaction to conjoined twins was, ‘gee whiz’ you’ve got to get them separated. You’ve got to make them normal. They’ve got to fit our social context of what normality is. I became a member of one of the teams trying to support the family and learning with them. It’s not my role to create injury for the sake of social conformity.”
Being conjoined hasn’t stopped the girls yet!
The twins have separate bodies but they share their taste, touch, and sight. Felica their mom may have their own bodies, but they share senses of taste, touch, and sight. Their mother, Felicia, had Krista close her eyes. While her eyes were closed she touched her sister’s face and knee. Krista was able to tell us where her sister was being touched. It was amazing.
“I could have never imagined they were going to do anything that they can do now. There’s nobody in the world that’s connected the same way that they are.”
In addition, the twins can also control each other’s limbs.
“So Tatiana controls three arms and a leg, and Krista controls three legs and an arm,” Felicia explained. “But it can be, kind of ‘turned off’ I guess you could say. Like they can choose when they do it and when they don’t want to do it.”
Here’s another interesting fact about the twins…
They are able to hear each other’s thoughts. WHAT?! They call it “talking in our heads.” Tatiana said she likes being attached to her sister “sometimes but not always” because “sometimes she’s annoying.”
Tatiana and Krista attend a regular school, ride a bike, cross-country ski, and are even learning to swim as part of their physical therapy.
The twins still have some medical issues like being diabetic and suffering from epilepsy.
“We’re just going to take it one day at a time