The conjoined twins born with one body and two heads have been christened in a Sydney hospital as they continue to defy medical odds of them surviving.
The babies, Faith and Hope, were christened at Westmead Children’s Hospital after their miraculous birth on May 8.
Their parents, Renee Young and Simon Howie of Tregear in Sydney’s west, have maintained a bedside vigil for their daughters who were born with two identical faces and two brains.
Despite doctors initially telling the couple to terminate the pregnancy, they have been told the girls have a strong chance if they survive the next five weeks.
The girls were born with a rare condition called diprosopus, which means they share the same body and vital organs but have their own faces and brains which are connected by only one brain stem.
‘Even though there is only one body, we call them our twins. To us, they are our girls and we love them,’ Mr Howie told Woman’s Day.
‘We have no idea how long they will be in hospital. We just want to bring them home, happy and healthy to make our family a little bit bigger and a bit more chaotic.’
The condition is so rare that only 35 cases have ever been recorded and none have survived.
Due to the complex nature of Faith and Hope’s condition, doctors are unsure about what to expect and they are being forced to make their prognoses day by day.
Mr Howie confirmed that specialists were called in to decipher a range of problems and assess the twins in great depth, from the functioning of their lungs and blood vessels to decisions about how best to proceed with feeding.
But despite all the forewarned medial problems likely to come their way, Ms Young and Mr Howie are happy their girls are alive and well.