Two conjoined twins, who were separated during a risky surgery at just three-months-old, have said that their bodies are comfortable when they sleep in the ‘same position as when they were conjoined’.
Eman, 20, and Sanchia Mowatt (20) were born at the base of both their spines four months prematurely on September 13, 2001.
The combined weight of 10lb meant that they had to have a 16-hour procedure at Birmingham Children’s Hospital to separate. This is a rare and successful operation.
The chance of them surviving the surgery was between five and 25%.
Eman told The Sun : “Right from the start, our parents could see we wanted to be independent. If I had been given the choice at the time, I would have wanted to be separated.
“Even though we’re separated we are still very close. We sometimes sleep in the same position as when we were conjoined. We’re quite cuddly.
“Naturally we’re quite different and we love being around each other all the time.”
The twins live at their family home with younger sister Damaris, 19, and still suffer from health complications despite far exceeding doctors’ expectations. Both have spina bifida and a weaker side of their body causing walking problems.
Both also use a crutch to walk and Eman sometimes needs a wheelchair.
Eman continued: “Each of us has a leg that is shorter than the other, and one side that is weaker where we were joined. I have a lot more leg spasms. We’re used to it. When it’s bad, we say it’s just one of those days.”
“They didn’t know if we were going to walk. When we did, people said it was a miracle,” Sanchia said.
“We still have hospital appointments, we’ve had procedures and operations, but it’s amazing that we’ve come so far.”
One in every 200,000 births is made up of conjoined twins. They are very rare. Although they shared their incredible story openly, the pair did not always share it.
Eman said: “It wasn’t until we were older and started looking through the old newspaper articles about us that we realised what a big deal it was.
“We always had film crews and journalists at our birthdays but when we were four, five, six-years-old, we were just really fascinated by it all.
“Not many people come forward as conjoined twins. It’s still rare.
“We talk about how we have good and bad days, but we are showing that people with disabilities can have good lives and have careers and we hope that is inspiring for others.”
Since recently moving on from the facility, Eman and Sanchia are now hoping to raise £10,000 for Birmingham Children’s Hospital through various fundraising efforts including online singathons with their friends and family.
Sanchia said: “We didn’t get to say a proper goodbye due to the pandemic and we wanted to do some-thing more than just send a card.
“We wanted to say, ‘It’s been 20 years and you’ve done so much for us, we want to give something back.'”
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