Sunday, September 6, 2009


Saw a fascinating Natgeo feature on conjoined twins and the surgeries they'd had to separate their bodies.
The one that stuck out for me was a case of a set of American twins whose torsos were fused. The heart of one of the girls lay 3/4ths inside the rib cage of the other and they were sharing the same liver. The doctors thought that they had a good chance of separating the two without major permanent damage.
Needless to say, the girls were absolutely the cutest things that ever lived. They'd spent the earliest months of their lives facing each other, separated by mere inches. Talk about getting in your sibling's business. Talk about twintuition.
Anyway, so when the surgeon opens them up, everything seems to be going according to plan. The livers are divvied up and they turn their attention to shifting one of the twin's heart back into its own ribcage.
That's when they find that the two hearts are connected by a single nerve. The nerve is sending the same signal to both hearts, making them beat as one.
The doctor has no option but to say a little prayer and cut the sliver that's joining the two vital organs. He severs the connect, the hearts still and Natgeo takes a dramatic pause with a dramatic voice-over. Close ups on the faces of the other doctors and nurses. And then...
The hearts begin beating again. But no longer together. They pulsate in alternating rhythm, still harmonious but now very, very separate.

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