UK & World News

  • 27 May 2014, 10:55

Australian Conjoined Twins Lose Fight For Life

Twins born in Sydney, Australia, with one body and one head but two identical faces have died.

The girls, named Hope and Faith, were born on May 8.

While they shared the same body and internal organs, they had separate brains in the one skull.

Simon Howie and partner Renee Young learned the babies would be born conjoined early in the pregnancy but decided they wanted to go through with the birth despite advice from some doctors.

They were born six weeks prematurely by emergency caesarean at Blacktown hospital.

Speaking on the Australian TV programme "A Current Affair" following their birth, Ms Young said: "If I only get two days with the baby I only get two days. I'll at least have some time with her."

The babies had a condition called craniofacial duplication, or diprosopus, just dozens of cases of which have been recorded.

Speaking on the Channel 9 programme at the time, maternal foetal specialist Dr Greg Kesby warned the couple that even simple tasks will prove difficult for the twins.

"I think one of the biggest risks to this baby, in terms of surviving, is its ability to breathe on its own," Dr Kesby said.

"I think there are going to be a lot of challenges afterwards related to the way the brains develop.

"That's going to pose you lots of problems. That is the reality. The bub comes out and after a little while struggles, you've got to have that discussion, how far do you take things."

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