62ºF

Why These Parents Made the Controversial Decision to Not Separate Their Conjoined Twin Daughters

photo

An Idaho family has decided to not separate their conjoined twin daughters after learning the girls' lives could potentially be risked if they underwent the procedure.  

Nick and Chelsea Torres,of Blackfoot, learned their daughters would be conjoined while Chelsea was pregnant, as doctors gave their children a 5% chance of living more than 24 hours. But terminating the pregnancy was out of the question for these parents.

"I felt that if they were fighting and wanted to be here that i should still fight for them as well," Chelsea told Inside Edition

"They were my everything at that point," Nick added. 

The sisters, Callie and Carter, are now 3 years old. They have two separate hearts and two separate stomachs, but their livers are fused and they share an intestinal track and bladder. They each have control of one arm and one leg.

Separation surgery would be challenging and potentially life-threatening, said their pediatrician, Dr. Mitchell Steorts.

"The girls have a much better life expectancy [now] than if they had been separated," he said. "[The girls are] developmentally meeting all their cognitive milestone, they're meeting all social milestones."

The twins are able to crawl and love playing with their big brother, Jason.

Nick and Chelsea were not concerned if people disagreed with their decision to not separate the twins, saying what's most important is the girls live a long life.

"What parent doesn’t want their kids to be happy?" asked Nick. 

Chelsea agreed, saying "I want them to realize that even though they are together they can do things that other people can do."

RELATED STORIES

Conjoined Twins Were Born With Only 1 Heart

Conjoined Twins Successfully Separated in Australia Still Want to Be Very Close

Formerly Conjoined Twins Doing Well After Doctors Separated Them in Miracle Surgery