ConjoinedTwins 11-28 Web

Twins won’t be separated

Twin girls born joined at the head have overcome long odds, but the doctor who brought them to the United States to be evaluated for surgery now says there’s no longer any chance they will ever lead separate lives.

Anastasia and Tatiana Dogaru, who will be 5 in January, were born in Rome. The top of Tatiana’s head is attached to the back of Anastasia’s, meaning the girls have never been able to look each other.

Tatiana has had to undergo heart surgery. Anastasia has no kidney function and relies on Tatiana’s kidneys.

However, the twins have become smart, active girls, said Dr. Kenneth Salyer, chairman and founder of the Dallas-based nonprofit World Craniofacial Foundation.


"They’re troupers and they may be with us a long time, God willing," Salyer said.

Physicians at Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital in Cleveland had hoped to separate the girls, but that surgery was deemed too dangerous and was called off in August 2007.

Still, Salyer, whose foundation brought the girls to Dallas when they were babies, had kept up hope that separation might still be possible.

"We have finally decided that it’s in these girls’ best interest that they remain like they are and that’s really hard for me to say because I’ve been optimistic about separation," Salyer said.

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