The six-year-old conjoined twins, who are joined from the sternum downwards, have defied all odds and are now attending kindergarten while sharing one body. Despite doctors giving their mother a five percent chance of survival, the twins continue to thrive.
In 2017, Chelsea Torres, a 30-year-old from Blackfoot, Idaho, welcomed her twin daughters, Callie and Carter, into the world with her partner Nick. Despite medical professionals initially stating that the twins would likely have a short lifespan, they continue to thrive.
Despite medical professionals warning Chelsea that her daughters may not survive the first few weeks of their lives, Callie and Carter are thriving six years later and recently reached an important milestone by starting kindergarten.
While each girl has her own heart and stomach, they share a bed, an intestinal tract, and a spine. Each one can control one leg and two arms.
The six-year-old conjoined twins, connected from the sternum downwards, have defied all odds and are now thriving in kindergarten with their peers.
Despite the doctors warning Chelsea that her daughters may not survive the first weeks of their lives, Callie and Carter are thriving six years later. “The anatomy of Callie and Carter is like two waves crashing into each other,” their mother recently explained to KTVB. “Their upper part is just themselves, they have two separate stomachs, and where it starts to get tangled is in the intestines, they share their lower half.”
Chelsea shared that her daughters are just like any other little girls, with their own distinct personalities, likes, and dislikes. “I just want people to know that they’re just two normal kids,” she said. “They’re in an unusual circumstance, but treat them normally. They like to be treated like any other child because they are. They’re in school, they go to physical therapy, they do normal activities, ride bikes.”
According to Chelsea, Callie is “very feminine”, while Carter is the opposite. And like any siblings, they sometimes get tired of each other.
“We try to give them their own time, even though they’re a little attached,” she said, adding that they will give them headphones and allow them to watch TV on their tablets if they say they need alone time.
“Although Callie and Carter are two people together, you have to remember that they are individuals.”
The girls are now perfectly healthy and use wheelchairs to get around. They are currently learning to walk and coordinate their movements through physical therapy.
Chelsea said that the hardest part is finding clothing that fits their unusual situation. She has to make things work by cutting two pieces of clothing and sewing them together.
Chelsea also had to get a custom car seat made at a children’s hospital in Salt Lake City when they were born, which they recently outgrew. Now she has to wait until September to get another one.
“Things like that are frustrating,” she admitted. “Yes, they will have challenges, but I know they will be fine because they have each other.”
Chelsea works hard to raise awareness about the conjoined twins and has become a popular social media star along the way, gaining over 205,000 followers on TikTok. She often shares videos of the girls enjoying their lives and doing normal activities such as swimming, riding bikes, playing on the playground, and just having fun.
While she is now very open about her daughters’ story, it took her some time to feel comfortable talking about it.
The story is about six-year-old conjoined twins, Callie and Carter, who are attached from the sternum down. The twins have started kindergarten and are thriving despite doctors telling their mother that they had a five percent chance of survival. Although they share a bed, intestinal tract, and bladder, they each have their own stomach and heart. The girls can control one leg and two arms each. They are just like any other little girls, with different personalities, likes, and dislikes, and enjoy normal activities such as riding bikes and going to physical therapy. Although they are joined together, they are two individuals and should be treated as such.
When Chelsea learned she was pregnant with conjoined twins in 2016, she was devastated. However, she never considered terminating the pregnancy. In fact, she later admitted to hiding her pregnancy and ultimately destroying someone’s phone to avoid facing the difficult situation
I definitely wanted to keep the babies, I knew from the beginning that I wanted to keep them,” she said. She had a C-section at 36 weeks and the girls were born in January 2017. Although the initial plan was to undergo surgery to separate them, she told her doctors that it would be too risky.
“They don’t know any other way of life,” she explained. “When people ask if they want to be separated, they say, ‘Huh? Why?'” The girls spent five weeks in the NICU under intense care before being given the green light to go home. “The doctors said, ‘There’s nothing wrong with them, they’re perfect, they’re healthy, take them home and treat them like normal kids.’ So that’s what we did,” Chelsea recalled. Neither of the girls has expressed any interest in separation, and Chelsea told Today that the surgery would be “extremely risky.”
However, she added that she is open to exploring separation in the future if it’s something the twins want. She added, “If they say they want to be separated, we will try. I will tell them they have to listen to what the doctors say: you have to understand the probabilities, if you want to go ahead and do it, then I’ll support it,” she told KTVB. “For now, it’s not my choice to make. It’s such a dangerous surgery that it’s just not my choice to make for them. They’re not broken to me.”