Extraordinary Twins and their life revealed

If you’re not a sports fan, chances are you’re tearing your hair out this week – after all, football, tennis and cycling are set to dominate the schedules during the next few weeks. There’s even a little bit of cricket thrown in for good measure too.

Tuesday, 29th June 2021, 5:00 pm

But if you look really hard, you’ll see there are still a few gems hidden away in the schedules for those anyone couldn’t care less who can kick or hit a ball better than anybody else, or can ride a bike faster than their competitors on the roads of France.

Among them is this documentary which, rather fittingly, considering the subject matter, is being broadcast in two parts. The conclusion can be seen on Thursday, but it begins a day earlier by introducing viewers to Nick and Chelsea from Idaho who, like the vast majority of parents the world over only want one thing – what’s best for their children.

The problem is, deciding what that might be is agonising and almost impossible because their three-year-old daughters Callie and Carter are conjoined twins, a rare condition occurring in around only one birth in every 200,000. Most don’t survive past early infancy and it’s thought that there are only 12 sets of adult conjoined twins around the world.

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Three year old co-joined twins Callie and Carter
Three year old co-joined twins Callie and Carter

The girls are currently happy and healthy, but as they grow older and try to live more independent lives, that could change. So, Nick and Chelsea could leave them together, or risk their lives by putting them through a potentially dangerous operation to separate them. Even if both survived, it would mean doctors would have to figure out a way to divide the limbs and vital organs they currently share.

Time is running out for their parents to make the biggest decision of their lives – the girls’ fourth birthday is approaching, and the older they get, the more difficult the surgery becomes. So, to help Nick and Chelsea, they’re about to meet other mums and dads who have faced the same situation, as well as those who have undergone the operation, or remained together – and cameras follow them every step of the way.

In the first episode, 20-year-olds Carmen and Lupita, who couldn’t be separated, discuss their lives – and seeing them happy and fulfilled gives Nick and Chelsea hope, although their ongoing health problems are also worrying. Then, in California, the Sandoval family reveal how their six-year-old twins have been getting on since having surgery.

The second part of the programme is perhaps even more emotional than the first. It follows the progress of little boys who are joined at the head and have arrived at Great Ormond Street in London where experts are quietly confident they can be separated via a series of complex operations.

Nick and Chelsea also meet other individuals who have either remained together or have been parted, with varying degrees of success and happiness.

It’s then time for the couple to come to a decision – and although everyone at home will be rooting for them and their girls, nobody will envy the dilemma they face.

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