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Reading 23º: Siamese Twins

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Siamese Twins Throughout history, conjoined twins have appeared in myths and legends. One of the earliest cases of conjoined twins was Mary and Eliza Chulkhurs. They were born in 1100 and they lived for 34 years in the County of Kent, England. They were joined at the lower back. After the death of one sister, doctors hoped to save the life of the other by separating them surgically. The twin that was alive refused, she said, "As we came together we will go together". She died several hours later.

The term, "Siamese twins" came from Chang and Eng Bunker. The conjoined twins were born in 1811 and came from Siam. They earned their living in the United States as a circus attraction. After several months in America, they went to England. In England they performed in the most famous venues and met members of the royal family.

Chang and Eng were subjects of medical examinations and doctors said that their separation was impossible. In the early 1840s they began looking for "a couple of nice wives". In April 1843, Chang married Adelaide Yates and Eng married her sister Sarah Anne. Over the next 31 years the brothers had a total of 21 children. They lived a long time and died at the age of 63.

Nowadays it is possible to separate Siamese twins. Operations concerning Siamese twins occur every year. Sometimes the results are successful, but unfortunately sometimes they aren't.


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