Conjoined Twin Girls Who Were ‘Cut In Half’ In 2006 Now Live As Separate Adults

Nov 23rd, 2022

Conjoined Twin Girls Who Were ‘Cut In Half’ In 2006 Now Live As Separate Adults

Twins Kendra and Maliyah Herrin were born on February 26, 2002. Unlike other twin babies, these two were sharing a large intestine, bladder, and liver, and they only have one kidney. From the very start their parents, Erin and Jake, knew that separating them was going to be incredibly risky.

One doctor told them that the girls didn’t have the organs they needed to survive on their own once they are born. In fact, while Erin was still pregnant, one doctor advised her to consider abortion because of the condition of the twins. That is something that the parents never thought of doing. No matter what the circumstance will be, they were prepared to face it.

When they turned 3, their parents were left to decide whether or not to go through with a life-threatening surgery, or to leave them conjoined for the rest of their lives. And at the age of 4, twins “Maliyah” and “Kendra” made international headlines when they became the first set of twins to share a kidney to be physically separated.

It was a scary and difficult procedure. A team of six surgeons and 25 support staff at Primary Children’s Hospital separated them in a surgery that lasted 26 hours. Thankfully, the procedure was a success. Finally, they were separated and the only thing they needed then was to learn how to adjust to living with their separate bodies.

Talking to Health about the surgery, Maliyah said, “We don’t really remember the pain of the surgery, but we do know that we recovered quickly. Almost two weeks after the surgery, we were already jumping around our beds.”

And since they shared a kidney before their surgery, Maliyah got the kidney, while Kendra went on dialysis for nine months until their mother donated a kidney. Then ten years after the transplant, Kendra’s body rejected her mother’s kidney and she was back on dialysis. Kendra was placed on an organ donor waitlist for a year and a half.

Thankfully, an anonymous donor donated their kidney. Aside from that, Maliyah has also had to have a number of kidney transplants since the operation.

After years of follow-up care, including spinal fusions, the girls are now healthy and happy adults. They don’t remember anything about the operation itself. And 16 years after they have been finally separated, the Herrin sisters are now living in Salt Lake City.

Kendra said, “We’re both so glad that we’re separated. I think we’re closer now that we’re separated because I think if we were still conjoined we’d fight all the time because we’d always be together.” She adds, “We’re really close still. We have the same friends and we do everything together.”

Other than the fact that they have one leg each, these two are eternally grateful to their parents because they braved the odds of going through with the separation surgery despite the discouragements that they have been receiving.

To share their life with the world, Maliyah and Kendra started their YouTube channel. They are filming videos to showcase their story, their self-confidence, and their individual personalities.

In a documentary video shared by “Truly” on YouTube entitled “The Twins That Were Cut in Half,” the Herrin sisters show the world how they interact with one another and go about their normal days.