WHAT WENT BEFORE: The Aguirre Twins
Carl and Clarence Aguirre were born conjoined at the head to single mother Arlene at the Philippine General Hospital on April 21, 2002. As craniopagus (head to head) twins, they shared bones in the skull and some portions of the brain surface.
A pediatrician referred the case to the Philippine Airlines Foundation, the local partner of the US-based nonprofit organization Children’s Chance which helped find two New York-based hospitals as sponsors for an operation to separate the twins.
In September 2003, Arlene and her twins flew to New York for a series of operations by doctors from the Children’s Hospital at Montefiore and Blythedale Children’s Hospital in Valhalla led by Dr. James Goodrich.
Still in US
The procedure cost more than $2 million, but Montefiore and Blythedale pledged to cover the expenses. The physicians involved also waived their fees.
In two years, Carl and Clarence underwent three major surgeries, as well as a series of physical, occupational, speech and feeding therapies.
The twins were finally separated on Aug. 4, 2004, after a 17-hour operation that generated headlines and captivated public attention around the world.
The twins continue to stay in the United States for medical monitoring and therapies.
They were reported to be attending public school and receiving therapy services, and were still dependent on a trust fund created for their needs. Inquirer Research
Sources: Inquirer Archives and aguirretwins.org
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