Doctors Gave These Conjoined Twins 24 Hours To Live, But Two Years On They’re A Living Miracle

Doctors never thought Chelsea and Nick Torres’s twins had a fighting chance. In fact, they advised the couple to terminate the pregnancy when they realized the girls were conjoined. But when Chelsea delivered a healthy pair of girls, they defied the odds – and they continue to do just that.

In June of 2016, Chelsea found out she was pregnant with twins. She and her husband, Nick, were no strangers to parenthood. In fact, they already had a son, Jaysin, whose third birthday they’d celebrate a few days after finding out the news.

But five weeks into Chelsea’s pregnancy, she started to get cramps. Her doctor performed an ultrasound and told the 22-year-old mom-of-one that she was having a miscarriage. “I left in tears,” she wrote on her GoFundMe page.

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With more analysis, doctors determined that Chelsea’s unborn babies had landed too close to her cervix, which would cause the pregnancy to end. “I waited for a miscarriage,” she wrote. But by the time she hit eight weeks, it still hadn’t happened.

Image: MedicalPrudens

So, Chelsea traveled to a new clinic, where a second ultrasound revealed the unexpected – a heartbeat. “I cried in excitement and told the tech I was crying because I was happy,” she wrote. The 22-year-old’s joy distracted, however, her enough that she didn’t pay much attention to the babies on the screen.

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Image: Martin Brosy

When a doctor came in and began asking Chelsea questions, she wrote that she “knew something was wrong.” After the inquiry, the doctor let the mom-to-be know that the twins in her womb were conjoined. “It was a blur after that,” Chelsea wrote of the appointment.

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Image: YouTube/Maternity TrainingInternational

One in somewhere between 49,000 and 189,000 births results in conjoined twins, although the phenomenon inexplicably occurs more commonly in Africa and Southwest Asia. About 50 percent of all conjoined babies arrive stillborn, while one-third pass away in under 24 hours of being born.

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Chelsea’s doctor told her she wouldn’t have to worry about either scenario, though. “You will miscarry soon,” she recalled them saying. After that, the 22-year-old once again sought another opinion. She saw a doctor who provided her with multiple options, including terminating the pregnancy.

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“There was no way I could terminate, the thought of [it], for three days after the appointment, would bring me to tears. I cried every hour,” Chelsea wrote. Fortunately, a surgeon consulted with the expectant mom and had a different point of view. According to them, her babies had an up-to-30-percent chance of surviving.

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There was one minor issue, though, the surgeon worked at the Children’s Hospital in Texas. The medical center was, unfortunately, a 25-hour drive from the family’s home in Blackfoot, Idaho. So, the Torreses packed up and moved to Houston to be closer to the facility that could help their children.

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The couple knew that their time in Texas wouldn’t be brief, either. To begin with, Chelsea would be delivering their twins in the Lone Star State. But they would all then have to stay close to the hospital afterward, since the babies would need surgery to separate them.

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Image: corgaasbeek

First, though, Chelsea needed to have the twins. She admitted that she “was extremely anxious [her] whole pregnancy,” according to the Mirror. Even her pre-planned C-section made her nervous. “Knowing the date [they would be] delivered was extremely hard,” she said.

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When that day arrived – January 30, 2017 – Chelsea went into labor and reported that “[it] was bad.” But the end result brought her joy, she said. “They did the procedure and it felt really weird, but when [the twins] were here I was extremely happy,” she recalled.

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The conjoined twins, girls named Carter and Callie, were “amazing,” according to their mother. Chelsea did, however, have a bit of trepidation when holding them for the first time. “I was nervous because […] they were so fragile to me,” she said.

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And the twins’ weren’t just fragile. Their bodies were intricately intertwined, too. Carter and Callie’s torsos came together at the abdomen, so the sisters had just one pair of legs. From the waist down, they shared a single set of organs. In spite of their unique appearance, though, doctors gave Chelsea and Nick some shocking news.

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“The doctors say because the girls are so healthy, they do not recommend separation,” Chelsea revealed. Instead, the family eventually packed up their things in Texas. They then drove home to Idaho with their new babies in tow, with no plans to return to the hospital.

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Everyday tasks, such as car rides, though, were monumental for the new parents, according to the Houston Chronicle. After all, the babies’ situation was precarious. Although they had survived birth and were deemed healthy by doctors, they still might not survive their early days.

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That type of pressure, however, meant that life as parents of conjoined twins was “an extreme adjustment,” Chelsea told the Mirror. On top of that, everything from dressing the girls to driving them around required custom-made supplies, she said.

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But the Torres family-of-five was surrounded by a community who was rooting for them. “Everyone in our hometown is supportive and knows our story. We get some people who stare, and we get some people who say they have been following our journey,” Chelsea explained.

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And, as Carter and Callie approached their second birthday in 2019, they continued to grow into happy, healthy toddlers. A video on Facebook shows them shifting their legs in order to move across the floor, further proof that these rare twins will continue to defy the odds.

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