Decade on, separate lives for once-conjoined twins

August 4, 2014 by Jim Fitzgerald
Formerly conjoined twins Clarence, left, and Carl Aguirre, 12, embrace while relaxing with their mother Arlene at the family's home in Scarsdale, N.Y., Thursday, July 31, 2014. On Monday, Aug. 4, the family will celebrate the 10th anniversary of the surgery that separated the twins at Montefiore Hospital in the Bronx, where the surgery was performed. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

Conjoined twins from the Philippines who were separated 10 years ago in a New York City hospital now lead disparate lives.

Clarence Aguirre uses an iPad, dances to Michael Jackson tunes and high-fives visitors. His brother, Carl, has significant, possibly permanent, problems walking and talking.

Their mother says the fact that both 12-year-olds are alive is reason enough to celebrate.

When they were born joined at the head, she remembers in the Philippines telling her she would have to choose which one would live and which would die.

But doctors at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx were able to save both boys in a 2004 operation. They've since performed four similar separations around the world.

The anniversary is being celebrated Monday at Montefiore.

Arlene Aguirre, center, plays with her twin sons, Clarence, left, and Carl, at the family's home in Scarsdale, N.Y., Thursday, July 31, 2014. On Monday, Aug. 4, the family will celebrate the 10th anniversary of the risky surgery performed that separated the formerly conjoined twins at Montefiore Hospital in the Bronx, where the surgery was performed. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)


Clarence Aguirre, left, embraces his twin brother Carl while relaxing at the family's home with their mother Arlene in Scarsdale, N.Y.,Thursday, July 31, 2014. On Monday, Aug. 4, the the formerly-conjoined twins, now 12, are celebrating the ten year anniversary of the risky surgery that separated them. The surgery was performed in four stages at Montefiore Hospital in the Bronx. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

Arlene Aguirre, center, tells stories about her son Carl, as she sits with Carl's twin brother Clarence, 12, at the family's home in Scarsdale, N.Y., Thursday, July 31, 2014. On Monday, Aug. 4, 2014, Montefiore Hospital and the family will celebrate the 10th anniversary of the risky surgery that separated the boys, who were born as conjoined twins. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

Explore further: US surgery planned for conjoined twins from Philippines

Related Stories

US surgery planned for conjoined twins from Philippines

October 31, 2011
Conjoined two-year-old girls born in the Philippines are to undergo surgery on Tuesday to separate them at the chest and abdomen, said the California hospital where the operation will take place.

Conjoined twins celebrate 18th birthday in Houston

June 10, 2014
For a set of Texas twins, being joined at the hip is not just a cliche—that was basically the first 10 months of their life.

Conjoined twins with shared heart can't be split (Update)

June 3, 2013
Conjoined Palestinian twins with a shared heart and other vital organs returned home to the West Bank Monday after Israeli doctors determined they could not successfully separate them.

Conjoined twins separated at Dallas hospital

August 29, 2013
Hospital officials say conjoined boys born last month in Dallas have been safely separated and are doing well.

Spanish hospital successfully separates conjoined twins

March 19, 2012
A Barcelona hospital said Monday it had successfully separated a pair of seven-month-old conjoined twins who shared a liver.

Zimbabwe's Mugabe hails separation of conjoined twins

July 10, 2014
Zimbabwe surgeons have successfully separated conjoined twin babies, a first for the country's down-at-heel health service and an achievement that has been hailed by President Robert Mugabe.

Recommended for you

Exploring the potential of human echolocation

June 25, 2017
People who are visually impaired will often use a cane to feel out their surroundings. With training and practice, people can learn to use the pitch, loudness and timbre of echoes from the cane or other sounds to navigate ...

Team eradicates hepatitis C in 10 patients following lifesaving transplants from infected donors

April 30, 2017
Ten patients at Penn Medicine have been cured of the Hepatitis C virus (HCV) following lifesaving kidney transplants from deceased donors who were infected with the disease. The findings point to new strategies for increasing ...

'bench to bedside to bench': Scientists call for closer basic-clinical collaborations

March 24, 2017
In the era of genome sequencing, it's time to update the old "bench-to-bedside" shorthand for how basic research discoveries inform clinical practice, researchers from The Jackson Laboratory (JAX), National Human Genome Research ...

The ethics of tracking athletes' biometric data

January 18, 2017
(Medical Xpress)—Whether it is a FitBit or a heart rate monitor, biometric technologies have become household devices. Professional sports leagues use some of the most technologically advanced biodata tracking systems to ...

Financial ties between researchers and drug industry linked to positive trial results

January 18, 2017
Financial ties between researchers and companies that make the drugs they are studying are independently associated with positive trial results, suggesting bias in the evidence base, concludes a study published by The BMJ ...

Best of Last Year – The top Medical Xpress articles of 2016

December 23, 2016
(Medical Xpress)—It was a big year for research involving overall health issues, starting with a team led by researchers at the UNC School of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health who unearthed more evidence that ...

0 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.