Rare two-headed baby born in Brazil

2011-12-22 23:04

Sao Paulo - A two-headed baby born in Brazil this week is actually a set of conjoined twins sharing one body because of a rare birth defect, doctors said on Thursday.

The twins, born on Monday and named Jesus and Emanuel in honour of the upcoming Christmas holiday, have distinct brains and spinal cords but share internal organs, appearing as a single baby with two heads.

Because both brains are functioning and the twins are in stable condition, doctors have ruled out any kind of surgery for the moment, according to the Santa Casa de Misericordia Hospital in the northern town of Belem.

The two babies "would be twins but ended up being joined together because of a delay in the cellular division", the hospital said.

"It's important to understand that this is two babies and not one baby with two heads," said Dr Neila Dahas, assistant director of the hospital.

"They underwent a battery of tests, and it was found that there are two distinct brains and spinal columns, but they share the other organs."

Dahas added that "it is impossible to make a decision regarding surgery, for both physical and ethical reasons".

The hospital said the 23-year-old mother only learned that she was pregnant with twins at the time of the delivery, when an ultrasound was performed.

The condition, known as dicephalic parapagus, is extremely rare.

But one set of twins born with the condition in 1990, Americans Abby and Brittany Hensel, have led a relatively normal life in the US state of Minnesota and appeared in a documentary in 2008.

  • ps.bujela - 2011-12-23 07:11

    May God Bless them for his a GOD of wonders!!!!!!

      Johan - 2011-12-23 08:43

      There is no need to blame "God" for this. It is just a mutation. Together with natural selection and genetic drift it forms the basis of evolution. No need to invent a god.

      Maverick82 - 2011-12-23 09:42


      Sunett - 2011-12-23 10:37

      @Jojon - be quiet you moron."God is dead and i have killed him" ?? Do us all a favour and go play on the highway or something. What an idiotic comment! Even if you don't believe in God, that was probably the stupidest comment EVER. None of my friends, believers and non-believers, would say something that DOF!!!

      Mike - 2011-12-23 11:21

      Jojon how did you do it? Did you use a whiff of science? lol

      Jojon - 2011-12-23 11:23

      @Sunett. My dearest Sunett, I am afraid that you are too "DOF" to understand that statement.

      Henk - 2011-12-23 11:34

      Jojon, I must also be too DOF to understand your "killed" statement. Please explain.

  • Mary - 2011-12-23 09:15

    Once again a winner heading (pun not intended): among all the two-headed babies this one is rare?

  • MissGremlin - 2011-12-23 09:18

    Hope they dont have colic. Two heads screaming at once would be enought to put the mom over the edge...

      Henk - 2011-12-23 11:36

      Fortunately only one bum to clean....

  • Cornelius - 2011-12-23 10:03

    I don't understand why people always have a go at God... If you don't understand something (like God), don't try providing an opinion on it. Jojon, your worlds are folly. I don't know what you believe in, but at least have the courtesy respect those who do believe in God.

      Michael - 2011-12-23 10:49

      Jojon, you sound like Hannibal Lecter, get some help mate..

  • Irma - 2011-12-23 10:06

    I saw them on the news last night. There are twins like this that have survived. I hope they delay any surgery until they are sure the twins can survive, i.e. they must have a heart and lungs for the one. I'd hate it if they decide to do surgery and one doesn't make it.

      Michael - 2011-12-23 10:09

      when you're ahead stay ahead hey Irma ;)

  • Debbie - 2011-12-23 10:29

    MOre so the chemicals in our food! I look on it as one person if there is one heart, one set of lungs, 2 kidneys etc. The one head should be removed as there is only one spirit.

      MissGremlin - 2011-12-23 10:39

      Neat plan. Can we use you for a test run?

  • Xenswim1 - 2011-12-23 10:40

    They were kept alive for what reason. Where is this so called quality of life. Who are these doctors that decided that these two brains would not suffer in the long term. As for the other set who suposedly lived relatively normal lives. Who determines normal and relatively is subjective. Example we can say we live in a relatively peaceful country but then others will say we live in a relatively dangerous country and true peace has flown out the window. It all depends on who has something to gain in this case science not the what ever it is.

  • robin.harriram - 2011-12-23 11:57


  • Lephutsi - 2011-12-23 14:42

    In the past midwives used to leave such children in sluice rooms to die of hypothermia (low temperature).

  • Sharkshoot - 2011-12-23 15:20

    Named Jesus. How original.

      TheRuckus - 2011-12-23 22:20

      be quiet whit man. How original is your name btw?

  • gillian.sanderson - 2011-12-23 17:17

    Ag no please - this pregnancy should have been terminated. This baby will become nothing but a freak show. Sad , i know, but true . . .

      TheRuckus - 2011-12-23 22:20

      you are one to talk

  • Bounca363 - 2011-12-23 17:21

    Intel's new Quad Core i2 Blade Server. Dual channel DDR3 ECC Ram......Single FSB, by the way, what size power supply is used???

      TheRuckus - 2011-12-23 22:19

      oh u so funni, you so funni

  • Win - 2011-12-23 18:03

    There actually is a solution to the 2-headed baby that none of you have mentioned: use one of the heads as a transplant onto a baby whose head just got fatally damaged by accident. With today's medical technology that should be not much of a problem!?

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