Rare Australian conjoined twins die

Australian conjoined twins Hope and Faith, who shared a body and skull but had separate brains and identical faces, have died almost three weeks after they were born in Sydney, medical officials said Tuesday.

The girls, who were born six weeks early by emergency caesarean, were with their parents—Renee Young and Simon Howie—when they passed away, the Nine television network reported.

"It is with great sadness that we share this news with you," said the broadcaster, which has had access to the parents before and after the birth.

Westmead Children's Hospital in Sydney's west, where the sisters were undergoing treatment after their birth in early May, confirmed the deaths but said Young and Howie were not releasing further information.

The suffered from the rare condition diprosopus, where they shared an unusually-shaped skull with duplicated facial features and separate brains joined at the stem. They also shared their limbs and organs.

Howie told Woman's Day magazine in an earlier interview that the "little Aussie fighters" had started developing their own personalities.

"Faith tends to cry a little more, while Hope takes after her mum and likes to sleep a lot," Howie said.

"Faith blows little bubbles and loves sucking her thumb but Hope prefers the dummy."

The couple, who are parents to seven other children, said they could not face terminating their pregnancy despite concerns about the babies' survival.

There have been only 35 cases of diprosopus worldwide, a rare condition where a baby has two faces, Woman's Day said. None of the newborns survived.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Conjoined twin girls separated in China

Aug 27, 2013

Conjoined twin baby girls have been released from a hospital in China almost three weeks after they were separated in a marathon operation, state media reported Tuesday.

One in 13 US schoolkids takes psych meds

Apr 24, 2014

(HealthDay)—More than 7 percent of American schoolchildren are taking at least one medication for emotional or behavioral difficulties, a new government report shows.

Recommended for you

Many transplant surgeons suffer burnout

Feb 25, 2015

Despite saving thousands of lives yearly, nearly half of organ transplant surgeons report a low sense of personal accomplishment and 40% feel emotionally exhausted, according to a national study on transplant surgeon burnout

5 tips for handling early-year medical expenses

Feb 25, 2015

The clock on insurance deductibles reset on Jan. 1, and that means big medical bills are in store for some. Patients may be required to pay thousands of dollars before their health care coverage kicks in.

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.