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Woman horrified after giving birth to baby with two heads (video)

By Mason White 11:48 AM March 16, 2014
The conjoined twins 

By: Aarav Sen
(Scroll down for video) A woman and her family are devastated after the birth of conjoined twins, hospital officials in India said.

The two girls have separate spinal cords, necks and heads, but share the same set of vital organs and limbs.

28-year-old Urmila Sharma of Haryana, did not know she is carrying twins until two weeks before the birth because she could not afford to pay for an ultrasound. Doctors fear that the twins, who have a condition known as dicephalic parapagus, will not survive.

“The parents are very distressed, and we are helping the family as best we can,” Dr. Shikha Malik, who delivered the babies, said. The babies were born by caesarean section, and the doctors said that the twins cannot be separated because they share many key body parts.

In the U.S., Abigail Loraine Hensel and Brittany Lee Hensel, both 24, are dicephalic parapagus twins, meaning that they are conjoined twins, each of whom has a separate head, but whose bodies are joined. They are highly symmetric, giving the appearance of having just a single body with little variation from normal proportion.

In fact, several vital organs are doubled up. Each twin has a separate heart, stomach, spine, and spinal cord. Each twin controls her half of their body, operating one of the arms and one of the legs.

This means that as infants, the initial learning of physical processes that required bodily coordination, such as clapping, crawling, and walking required the cooperation of both children. While each is able to eat and write separately and simultaneously, activities such as running and swimming must be coordinated and alternate symmetrically.

Other activities as diverse as brushing hair and driving a car require that each twin perform a sequence of separate actions that coordinate with the other. They live in Carver County, Minnesota.