Six-Year-Old Conjoined Twins Prepare for Separation Surgery, Mother Worries One or Both Will Die

International   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Apr 2, 2018   |   5:36PM   |   Manilla, Philippines

A Filipino family is hoping for another miracle for their conjoined twins.

Chiara and Charina Nortega, 6, are conjoined at the forehead, a rare condition called craniopagus, according to the Daily Mail. They and their family live on $7 a day in Palawan in the Philippines, but the family is appealing for help to pay for an expensive separation surgery for the twins, the report states.

Their mother, Sonia, said their doctors told them surgery would be very risky. She also was told the girls would be stillborn, but both survived.

“The motherly instinct tells me that my girls will survive the separation if we manage to raise funds for the treatment,” she said.

Their father, Arnel, 47, said he is working extra shifts to raise money, but he knows they never will be able to afford the $120,000 operation on their own.

“I am contacting friends, family and even strangers seeking help for my daughters. I am hopeful that somebody in some other corner of the world would hear our plea and come forward to help,” he said.

Sonia said she understands one of the girls could die in the surgery, but she is clinging to hope. Though the girls enjoy things like listening to stories and drawing, she said they also are in pain and daily tasks are extremely difficult because of their disability.

“I am well aware that during the process we might end up losing one of the twins,” she said. “If one of them gets cured and starts leading a normal life, I would know the other sister’s sacrifice was worth. I am positive and believe in the miracles of science.

“I wish to send my daughters to better surgeons, who can handle the risk of this case and cure her daughters. My heart says that they both would survive the operation and would be able to lead a normal life,” she continued.

LifeNews has written about similar situations in the past. In some cases, parents of conjoined twins were encouraged to abort them. Doctors argued that the twins probably would die anyway or would not have a good quality of life.

But stories like Tatiana and Krista Hogan’s demonstrate why conjoined twins, like every baby, deserve a chance at life. Conjoined at the head, the twins cannot be separated because Krista is partially dependent upon Tatiana’s heart for adequate blood supply. However, the girls have enjoyed good health, reaching their developmental milestones on schedule.

Twins Carl and Clarence Aguirre are another example. They were born conjoined at the head, but more than 10 years ago, doctors performed a series of complex surgeries to separate them. In 2014, the New York Times profiled the family as they celebrated 10 years since the twins’ separation.