By Danny Baggott @Dan_Baggie
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Shot by: Chelsea Torres
Producer: Danny Baggott, Ruby Coote
Editor: Beth Angus
The now three-year-olds were born as Omphalo-Ischiopagus twins, attached by their pelvic area and sharing all organs from the belly button down with just one leg each.
Mom, Chelsea Torres, and dad, Nick Torres, have been home-schooling the girls for the last two months, focusing on their physical therapy exercises in order to improve their coordination skills.
According to Chelsea, doctors usually give conjoined twins around a five percent chance of being born alive and a two percent chance of being alive past 24 hours – so understandably, both Chelsea and Nick are overjoyed with the girls’ current progress.
Chelsea, who resides in Idaho with the family, told Truly: “The fact that the girls are standing strong today is pretty incredible.
“I don’t think the girls see themselves as different. They go through the house, they play around, they crawl, they jump – I don’t think it limits them or that they think they need to be limited by how they look.
“We initially thought separation surgery was the best way to go with the girls, but we were told they didn’t need to be separated because they were completely healthy.
“Essentially, we would have been breaking apart two good things and making them have some serious complications with their health.
“Right now, looking back, we’re just so pleased with their progress and how far they have come.”
Chelsea describes the girls’ body as ‘clashing together like two waves’.
A certain part belongs to Callie, and the other to Carter; they each have their own hearts, stomachs and upper extremities.
Once arriving at the girls’ small intestines, that’s where they begin to share everything – including one leg each which obviously impacts their walking capabilities.
But despite the hardship, the girls are beginning to stand up on their own and even walk a few paces forward, with the help of mom and dad.
Chelsea said: “They have really started to learn how to coordinate with their walking. They’re moving around the house and are talking a lot more.
“They’re able to communicate with us now too, instead of just each other.
“Due to COVID-19, the girls haven’t been to school for their physical therapy, so we’ve been doing that at home instead.
“Once we set them up on the couch, they are able to stand up on their own two feet.
“For conjoined twins like Callie and Carter, it’s important to work on their coordination early on. It has to be in their own time, though, and it depends on how much they are willing to work with each other.”
The girls have very separate personalities, with Carter usually leading the way.
“Callie is more laid back and likes to watch YouTube all day,” Chelsea continued.
“While Carter likes to build and be able to colour things.
“But they actually work pretty good together now they are older. They value each other’s lives now because they both depend on it.”
Chelsea and Nick welcomed a new baby into their family earlier this year and so the girls have had to deal with the attention veering away from them a little.
“Having Mykah hasn’t really changed the sibling dynamic too much,” Chelsea said.
“They’ve done really well with the lack of attention on them.
“Nick and I are just extremely proud of Callie and Carter’s progress and how they’re doing with their walking and schooling.
“We didn’t think that we were going to leave the hospital with babies, let alone two babies that were stuck together.
“We are absolutely amazed with how they are doing. I just hope they have a wonderful life and I hope that they realise they are going to be best friends for the rest of their life too.
“They are just awesome little girls to be around.”