Baby with a twin on his back


ABOVE: Marco and Mershell Wallace, Joshua's parents. He’s a little guy with a big name. And like the Scots hero in the movie Braveheart, Joshua William Wallace is a true fighter.

From day one his short life has been marked by his fight for survival. He’s been in hospital since his birth a month ago and was barely two weeks old when he went under the knife for the first time. And this is only the start of a long, uphill road.

Joshua is the surviving half of rachipagus conjoined twins – twins joined back-to-back at any point above the lumbar spine. He was born with the remains of his underdeveloped brother attached to the top of his spine.

Worldwide there only 30 known surviving rachipagus conjoined twins. Joshua also has a deformed right leg.

At home his older sister and brother, Merencia (6) and Michael (2), constantly ask about the new baby. His parents, Marco (32) and Mershell Wallace (25) of Ottery, Cape Town, tell them, “Your baby brother is in hospital at the moment but he’ll be home one day.”

But no one can predict with certainty when that day will be.

Read more in Pieter van Zyl’s article in YOU 23 February 2012.

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