Conjoined twins with two faces, one body amaze doctors

Photo / Thinkstock
Photo / Thinkstock

Extremely rare Australian conjoined twins born with one body, one head and two faces have amazed their doctors after managing to breathe on their own.

Faith and Hope Howie, who have an extremely rare condition called diprosopus, were born on Thursday.

The babies share a body, limbs and a skull, but each have their own brains and a set of identical facial features.

There have only been 35 similar cases recorded worldwide and none of these babies survived.

Their Sydney parents Renee Young and Simon Howie, who already have seven children, say the babies have astounded doctors after being able to breathe on their own and are in a stable condition.

The twins were born at 32 weeks by emergency caesarean during a sometimes harrowing labour where they appeared to be struggling to breathe.

"They managed to find a heart beat, but the breathing was very shallow," Mr Howie told the Nine Network's A Current Affair.

He said he was initially shell shocked when he saw his babies, but was also felt prepared.
"I am proud as punch to see them make it this far, where all the odds were against us," he said.

Their mum thinks they are "amazing".

"I think they're beautiful, Simon thinks they're beautiful, really that's all that matters," Ms Young said.

Doctors have told the parents that they do not know what the future holds for the babies and they were still in "unknown territory".

"As long as they're fighters and they keep fighting they will be ok," Mr Howie said.

Doctors discovered the babies' condition during a routine ultrasound at 19 weeks and their parents went against medical advice when they continued with the pregnancy.

- AAP

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