60 Minutes blog

Michael Usher: The Amazing Hogan Twins

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Forget about feeling uncomfortable or a little awkward around the Hogan twins. They don't give you much time to be timid because like any five year old twins they are non-stop, energetic, action-packed young kids who just want you to play with them.

But when Krista and Tatiana play, it becomes an exercise in negotiation and compromise. They are conjoined twins, for sure, but that doesn't mean they always want to do the same thing. No way. In fact, when Krista wanted to go down the slide, Tatiana wanted none of it but down they both went. That meant Tatiana next got to run across the park, and Krista had to oblige.

But here's the really fascinating thing about these girls. Sometimes they act without a word being spoken. One will lead the other to get a glass of water from the kitchen, then pass it to the other saying "there you go." Hold a toy in front of one girl's eyes, and the other will tell you what it is without seeing it through her eyes.

Tatiana and Krista are joined at the head. But that's not what makes them entirely unique. What's happening in their heads is the truly amazing thing about these girls.

It appears their brains are connected in a way that lets them read each other's thoughts, and see what each other see. Doctors are amazed. They don't think there's been a bond or connection like this in any other set of conjoined twins.

When the girls were born no-one expected them to live. But they're survivors. Each was born with all their own organs and limbs. They are joined at the top and side of their skulls. They each have a brain but they're fused at a point, sort of locked together like a zipper. Because of this, there's no chance they could ever be separated.

But as the girls grew, their mum and grandmother noticed strange things about the way the girls were behaving. As if they were talking to each other, but not speaking. As if they had a telepathic connection.

They allowed tests on the girls, but have stopped many more because they don't want Krista and Tatiana becoming experiment Guinea pigs. But those tests have confirmed much of what their family suspected. They can see and think for each other.

It's quite amazing. And I saw the girls acting this way. It'll be incredible to see how this unique bond develops, as the girls grow older and progress through school. Could one girl store learning and knowledge in her brain, and the other access that information?

Meantime, their family is just trying to let the girls be girls. And that's hard, sometimes. In their Canadian hometown they get a lot of stares and sometimes some pretty nasty comments. And despite their very active and playful ways, there is fragility to Tatiana and Krista. Their brains may be very special, even advanced, but their bodies face many health battles.

But when you're with them – like any kids their age – they just want to be picked up, run around and be pushed on a swing. Like I said, that can sometimes take some negotiating and a little creativity, but when they play these girls laugh and play like there's not a care in the world. You can only imagine what they're saying to each other!

User comments
How wonderful to see these girls so full of life under such difficult circumstances. Some of the children in this country should take a leaf out of their book and realise how lucky they are...
It would be hard that the twins cant be seperated, what happends to them when they become aldults.
What a beautiful family these twins and their family are. It's no co-incidence they're working class types, as middle class families know that imperfect embryos must be culled, rather than loved.
Seriously, I am sooo proud of their mum n grandmother. I just could not believe my eyes when I watched this video on 60minutes. I fully shared tears with my mum. I have never in my entire life seen anything as amazing as these twin......their family should just ignore the nasty comments if other people and be proud of their girls because as long as they exist on this planet, they will progress as every other person n they are going to do amazing things in the family and on this planet....THEY ARE AMAZING AND MIRACULOUS!!!!!!!!!!
AFTER WATCHING TONIGHT'S STORY ON CONJOINED TWINS KRISTA AND TATIANA, I WONDER WHAT THEIR FUTURE WILL HOLD. IF IT IS MEDICALLY IMPOSSIBLE TO SEPARATE THESE BEAUTIFUL GIRLS, WHAT KIND OF FUTURE CAN THEY EXPECT? I FEEL A SELFISH CHOICE HAS BEEN MADE WITHOUT ANY THOUGHT, EXCEPT THAT PERHAPS IT'S PAYING OFF NOW...
After watching the story on Krista and Tatiana tonight, I feel sad and disgusted. Can you imagine being a 25 year old and joined to another person? What possible life will they lead? Only a very selfish person would choose this life for another human being. It might be cute that they can read each others thoughts now...
I am disgusted at watching a selfish woman getting her own gratification for a neurological breakthrough, she understood the situation she was creating and decided to continue. What sort of full life do these two beautiful girls have? I find her attitude and sense of adulation on this story disgusting. At what cost was her decision? Does she have enough intelligence of foresight to see their future? Does she care about their future?
WHAT AN AMAZING FAMILY ,THANK YOU FOR SHOWING THERE STORY WATCHING THOSE TWO BEAUTIFUL GIRLS PLAY WAS SUCH A JOY TO SEE THERE TRULY AMAZING AS IS THERE MOTHER AND GRANDMOTHER
What beautiful little girls the Hogan twins are.. But what an amazingly wonderful mum & grandma!!! To be so positive & to raise them as 'normal' little girls is just so inspirational. I'm a single mum to one 3 yo daughter & can appreciate the joy our babies give with each achievement in life. So to watch them both thrive & look so fantastically happy, brought happy tears to my eyes & a shared sense of pride in my heart! Congratulations on raising these gorgeous little girls.. There are many who couldn't or wouldn't do it! I take my hat off to you...
Thank you so much Michael for sharing that not only beautiful but also amazing story,they surely are one of kind but I'm sure they'll bring so much fun times for the family but interesting facts to science for the future ! Unfortunately man kind hasn't been brought up to understand the differences in each individual speaking of experiance, but it will make them that much stronger ! I wish the twins and their family every bit of happiness for the future

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