They say that twins share a special connection. They're like built-in best friends who can practically reach others' minds...But what if that idea took on a literal meaning? The Hogan twins of British Columbia, Canada, are joined not just at the head, but instead they share a cranium and have connected brains.
They go beyond a telepathic connection and can see through each other's eyes. Talk about perspective. Here's their story.
Beat All Odds From Birth
The Hogan parents received disturbing news when doctors told them that the babies they were expecting had little chance of living before they were even born. The doctors explained that the babies were conjoined at the head during the pregnancy and that their futures couldn't be guaranteed.
In fact, they estimated that if the twins even managed to survive the first 24 hours, they would live a bed-bound life and never be able to take care of themselves. Yet, the conjoined twins beat all odds and continue to live fulfilling lives today since their birth in 2006
Their Brains Are Connected
The twins' condition is so rare that we don't fully understand it and can't predict it. They are one in 2.5 million, to be exact. The depth of their connection isn't just through their skin or even their skills, their brains are also connected. This means that they could never get separated, or they could risk death or irreversible injuries.
What's fascinating about their conditions is the effects of having connected skulls and brains. Since there is a bridge between both parts of their brains, they could go as far as controlling each other's sensory and motor signals, as well as their consciousness.
They Can Reach Each Other's Minds
Imagine feeling so connected to another person that you could physically feel what they feel and taste what they taste. The twins' connection is unmatched. On a physical level, they can control each other's limbs. Tatiana controls three arms and a leg and Krista controls three legs and an arm. They can, however, also control their own limbs individually.
What's even more incredible is that the twins see through one another's eyes, and they also share emotions They can hear each other’s thoughts. It's like mind reading but they call it "talking in their heads".
How They Share Control
Luckily the twins do have a degree of control and can decide when to control each other's limbs or look through each other's eyes.
"They can sit there and not say anything to each other, and all of a sudden, one of them will pop up and grab something to eat for the other one. Like, there are no words being spoken between the two of them at all, and they know exactly what the other one wants," said their mom. "You can tickle one, and the other one laughs. You pinch one, the other one will cry with her like she’s feeling it."
Still Their Own People
As much as the twins have a lot in common and are connected on a deep level through their senses, they have each developed their own unique personality. "Over the years Tatiana has become the prominent leader,' says their mother. "Krista is quieter and can be more in her own shell."
The twins are also aware of their differences. Tatiana adds: "I'm the red Power Ranger - Jason! The leader." Everyone is in awe of the twins' development, including their neurosurgeon Dr. Douglas Cochrane who states: "They have amazed me - how they are the same but how they are different, how they are dealing with an error of nature to live healthy lives."
Just Like Any Other Kid
There was a time when no one thought the twins would get out of bed, let alone continue to thrive. Their grandmother Louise McKay explains that they have always defied expectations: "One doctor said they would be lying on their backs all their lives."
But at the end of the day, the girls are just like any other young kid who loves going to school, watching Power Rangers, and eating cake. They also keep busy with extracurriculars like bike riding, swimming, cross-country skiing, and tobogganing.
Not An Easy Health Journey
Although Tatiana and Krista make the best out of their situation, their journey hasn't always been easy. They have diabetes as well as epilepsy and have to receive daily insulin injections as part of their daily medication regimen, and regular blood tests.
Their health has a direct impact on one another. They have separate organs, but their vascular system works by pumping blood through one twin and then the other. "We tell them, "You two have to spend the rest of your lives together in this world, you need to cooperate and be nice to each other."
Family Is The Strongest Bond
The twins have two sisters, a brother, and even a pet. They feel supported by their family. "Seeing everything I have to go through with them would make your head spin," said Mrs. Hogan. 'It's hard, but I wouldn't change it. In my next lifetime, if I could choose this life, I would choose it."
The family wants to make sure that the girls know that they can anything they set their mind to. It's mind over matter, and that goes for all of us. If these young girls can defeat all odds of nature itself, imagine what you can do.
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