By Danny Baggott @Dan_Baggie

CONJOINED twins Callie and Carter Torres continue to thrive together – despite expert doctors giving them just 24 hours to live

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Videographer / director: Adam Gray
Producer:   Danny Baggott
Editor: Beth Angus / Ruby Coote

 

Callie and Carter were born attached by their pelvis area, sharing all organs from the belly button down and having a single leg each.

The sisters, from Blackfoot, Idaho, are described as omphalo-ischiopagus twins that make up less than five percent of conjoined twins throughout the world.

To this day, just 40 to 60 percent of all conjoined twins manage to survive past birth.

But with their second birthday approaching in the new year, Callie and Carter’s health continues to improve, much to the delight of parents, Chelsea and Nick Torres.

Chelsea, 25, told Barcroft TV: “The girls' health right now is really good. They don’t have to take any medication, they just get little colds here and there like normal kids.

“It’s incredible to think they have separate hearts, separate stomachs, separate heads – separate personalities too!

“In the very beginning we did think abortion would be the best option. We thought they would die as soon as they entered world. 

“But we’re just so pleased we stuck with our gut. After the crazy first 24 hours after they were born, they were doing good. They didn’t have any issues.”

Nick, 24, added: “I was like ‘holy crap, we have two perfect babies.’

“It was a huge pressure removed from us, because that dreaded thought of ‘my babies are going to die when they come out’ just went away.

“They were here and they were here to stay.”

Chelsea and Nick admit that their lives were 'flipped upside down' when they first heard the news that their babies were going to be conjoined.

And whilst separation surgery was, and still is, an available option for the family, Chelsea and Nick have always decided against it.

“We don’t feel comfortable separating the twins at this point,” Chelsea said.

“They are going to be more unhealthy when separated, than they are right now.

“The only way we would consider it is if Callie and Carter have sudden health issues that arise or if they want to be separated when they are older.

“We are going to give them that option, but we must make sure they completely understand the risks involved.”

Chelsea and Nick are currently trying to help their girls walk together for the very first time – with coordination being something that all conjoined twins struggle with.

And recently, the girls have started to develop very different personalities, which could also pose a few problems in the future.  

Chelsea said: “Doctors don’t expect them to walk until they are around four. Honestly, I think it will be more like eight.

“We don’t expect coordination to start happening until they are a lot older. But we thought we might as well start to try early.

“We’re hoping coordination isn’t a problem for them. They have grown to have different personalities, for sure.

“Carter, for the lack of a better term, is a little bully. If she wants something, she will take it.

“And if she doesn’t want Callie to have something, she’ll make sure she doesn’t get it.

“Callie is a little sweetheart. She puts up with her sister. She just likes to hang out, cuddle and eat food.”

Ordinarily simple tasks have become much more complex for Chelsea and Nick over the last two years – and that includes getting their hands on specialised clothing for the girls.  

“We were vastly unprepared for the girls to come,” Nick said.

“We didn’t have any clothes for them.”

Chelsea continued: “I actually decided to start making the girl’s clothes myself.

“I buy regular clothing. I take two of each item - they have to be the same size and the same brand.

“I then cut them from the back and sew them together through the middle.

“I learnt how to do it from a YouTube channel online.”

Thankfully for Chelsea and Nick, they have another little helper on hand to make sure Callie and Carter are always okay – their five-year-old big brother, Jaysin.

“The three of them all get along pretty well,” Chelsea said.

“If the girls are crying and one of us is busy, Jaysin will go in there and play with them until we are done.

“He will bring them food, he’ll share everything with them. He’s been really great.”

Unfortunately, Chelsea and Nick have not always had great experiences with members of the public and their comments towards Callie and Carter.

But that remains the very least of their concerns – as their miracle twin girls continue to grow and thrive together.  

Chelsea said: “When we are out in public with the twins, we get all sorts of reactions.

“There have been old ladies who have been like ‘oh, God wouldn’t have wanted those children alive’.

“Others just like to stare. But kids are great fun. They just ask ‘are they stuck together’ and I’m just like ‘yeah they got stuck inside my tummy and now they are here’.”

Nick added: “But you know what, that doesn’t matter to us.

“Just knowing that our girls are healthy and are learning at an everyday rate, it’s a great feeling.

“It’s good to know that to them, nothing is wrong. They are not afraid to do anything.”