Like many parents of multiples, when Jesse and Amy Carlsen found out there were having twins, they were a little shocked.
That shock was intensified when they learned that their two precious girls were growing as one.
Today, they are 12 and definitely not the same person, but it took a miracle, several actually, to get to this point.
When Abigail and Isabelle were born on Nov. 29, 2005, they were conjoined at the chest and abdomen, with a shared liver and small intestine, and their two hearts were intertwined.
The fact that they were born at all is a miracle unto itself.
Conjoined twins occur once in every 200,000 births, but more than 45-percent sadly don’t make it through delivery and another 35-percent survive only the first day, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center.
At the time of the Carlsen separation in 2006, 60-percent of conjoined twins did not survive the separation surgery.
“My heart leaps every time I hear about the Carlsen girls or see a picture of them doing so well,” said Dr. Christopher Moir, who led the team of 17 surgeons at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, that separated Abby and Belle on May 12, 2006, “because I know they beat the odds.”
Head to the next page for video of these beauties now!