Woman's Day: Faith and Hope with mother Renee
Woman's Day: Faith and Hope with mother Renee Woman's Day

Conjoined twins with two minds and one body

RENEE Young and Simon Howie have been blessed with one of the most exceptional births imaginable.

Their daughters, Hope and Faith, are conjoined twins - joined at the head and making exceptional progress according to their doctors.

The girls started life early, eager to break out at six weeks premature and causing mum and dad an ambulance trip to Blacktown Hospital in Sydney's outer western suburbs.

An intense caesarian delivery later and the medical wonders were taken to intensive care at Westmead's Childrens hospital.

"They are breathing perfectly on their own and feeding," Simon told Woman's Day.

"They even had their first bath."

Faith and Hope's condition was first detected at 19 weeks when an ultrasound revealed that both were healthy and would be born with a rare medical condition known as diprosopus.

Children born with diprosopus have separate brains and faces but share a skull, body, and organs.

"Even though there is only one body, we call them our twins," Simon says.

There have only been 35 similar cases recorded in history and only 16 in the last 150 years.

Unfortunately no previous diprosopus twins have survived.

Simon and Renee believe in their little girls, calling the twins their "little Aussie fighters."