Keeping Up With The Herrin Twins
Kendra and Maliyah Herrin are conjoined twins who were born with a rare and extraordinary bond — a conjoined body connected at the abdomen and sharing a kidney and a pair of legs. Their lives have been an incredible journey, facing challenges that surpass anything most of us could fathom.
But what happens when their parents are confronted with an unthinkable choice of whether to attempt to separate them or leave them conjoined? Their survival and transformation through this heart-wrenching choice have been so inspiring and uplifting.
The twins’ journey unfolds with bravery, heartbreak, and hope. It is an inspiring tale of sisterhood and conquering the impossible. Yet, their path begs the question: What sacrifices were made along the way?
Maliyah And Kendra Were Born In 2002
Back in 2002, in a hospital in Salt Lake City, two baby girls entered the world and stunned everyone in the delivery room. Kendra and Maliyah Herrin are brave twins born with a rare condition that forced them to share a pelvis, kidney, and liver. Doctors had cautioned their parents about the slim chances of their survival, but these little fighters proved them wrong. Their birth was a testament to resilience, defying the odds and surviving against all expectations.
The twins proved to be fighters from the beginning. That said, the daunting reality of Kendra and Maliyah’s condition left everyone questioning their future. Would these brave souls keep on fighting and continue their extraordinary journey together, or would fate tragically intervene, cutting short their time side by side?
They Survived The Crucial First 24 Hours
At the rarest odds, only 1 in 200,000 births are conjoined twins, with survival chances being slim for many. However, Kendra and Maliyah Herrin managed to make it through their first night, defying the odds and increasing their chances of survival. Naturally, their parents’ joy was immense, but the fact that they shared vital organs led doctors to predict that they wouldn’t survive much longer after the first 24 hours. Surprisingly, as more days passed, the twins kept on breathing and fairing well.
As time passed, the question lingered – could Kendra and Maliyah continue to surpass expectations, or was the end drawing near? The reality was daunting, as living healthy lives in their conjoined state seemed doubtful. Now it was up to the medical professionals to come up with a way to help them survive.
It Was Time For Life Changing Decisions
From the moment they were born, Kendra and Maliyah Herrin had no other option but to be inseparable, spending their early years living every moment side by side. Unfortunately, the shared organs that bound them also brought severe medical challenges that would only escalate with time. Jake and Erin, their parents, were caught in an agonizing quandary. Should they choose to keep their daughters joined, risking future regrets? Or should they take the brave step of pursuing the risky procedure to separate the twins? It was an extremely daunting situation for the family to navigate.
Caught between two difficult choices, Jake and Erin found themselves wrestling with the best course of action. Neither option presented an ideal solution, leaving the Herrin family uncertain about the future. With their daughters’ well-being hanging in the balance, they braced themselves for the challenging and unpredictable journey ahead.
A Parents Nightmare: Unsure Of What Was Best For Both Girls
Conjoined twins are indeed a rare occurrence, and the choice to undergo separation surgery is an immensely challenging one for any family. Despite the progress in medical science, the Herrin family found themselves grappling with the task of evaluating the risks and rewards of such a procedure for their four-year-old daughters. Endless consultations with medical experts and mental health professionals left them in a state of uncertainty. But one thing provided some clarity amidst the complexity. They realized that living their entire lives conjoined was not a sustainable option for the twins, making the decision a little easier to bear.
With courage and faith, the Herrin family made a bold choice and decided to move forward with the risky separation surgery. The decision held the power to transform the lives of the twins indefinitely, but they knew it was an essential step that needed to be taken for the sake of Kendra and Maliyah’s future.
The Twins Didnt Know What Was About To Happen
The Herrin twins were infants when their parents faced the difficult task of explaining the upcoming separation surgery to them. But Maliyah and Kendra had no understanding of the intricacies of the procedure since they were too young and thus unable to fully comprehend the associated risks and challenges. As such, their parents offered reassurance and called the day of surgery “cut-apart day,” trying to make it more approachable and less intimidating for the little ones.
Broaching the topic with the twins was undoubtedly tough, yet the most challenging chapter still lay ahead as the girls and their parents braced themselves for the scary journey leading up to the separation surgery.
Undergoing Painful Preparation
The medical preparation for the separation surgery was a critical aspect of the process. With the twins sharing bodies and skin, the doctors faced the challenging task of guaranteeing there would be enough skin to close the incisions after the separation. To take care of this concern, tissue expanders were used. These are small balloons placed under the skin to help it stretch slowly. This process allowed the medical team to prepare the girls’ bodies for the life-changing procedure.
The use of tissue expanders was undoubtedly a painful experience for the young twins, and it’s remarkable that they still remember the sensation. But despite all the preparation and efforts, their lives were still not guaranteed. The complexity of the surgery and the unique challenges they faced made it a truly unnerving and uncertain journey.
Preparing For The Worst
In the face of the challenging and uncertain surgery ahead, the parents embraced the precious moments with their conjoined twins. Their love and support knew no bounds as they planned enjoyable family activities, making the most of every moment leading up to the operation. The zoo and pool outings became cherished memories for Kendra and Maliyah, who appreciated the time spent with the rest of the family. These treasured experiences were a testament to the family’s resilience and determination to create lasting memories regardless of the surgery’s outcome.
After a while, the long-awaited day came. It was a day that would forever alter the course of their lives. The procedure to separate the twins was a momentous occasion for the Herrin family. And as you would expect, everyone was hopeful but also a bit anxious.
The Big Day Finally Arrived
In the days leading up to the surgery, the Herrin family’s emotions were in upheaval. The hospital room became a temporary home for the girls, giving them time to adjust and allowing the medical team to build a connection with the young patients. However, as “Cut Apart Day” approached, anxiety and fear loomed over the family. The weight of the decision they had made was palpable, and tears flowed freely as they wheeled Kendra and Maliyah toward the operating room. It was a moment filled with hope and trepidation.
As the surgical team prepared for the delicate operation, the Herrin family clung to everything that strengthened them, knowing that this day would be a defining moment in their lives. Many prayers were said as the girls were being wheeled into the theatre.
The Next Day
The twins’ recollection of the surgery was strikingly different from the reality that unfolded in the operating room. For them, it felt like a mere hour, but in truth, it was a grueling 26-hour procedure. Six skilled surgeons, supported by 25 medical professionals, labored meticulously to untangle their shared bodies, eventually leaving them with one leg each.
Recovery was just as challenging. Following the surgery, Kendra and Maliyah faced a three-month-long hospital stay, marked by a series of careful observations and intensive medical care. The post-surgery period was filled with uncertainty and apprehension as the family held their breath, hoping for a successful outcome and a chance at a healthy, independent life for their daughters.
The Girls Made The News
The Herrin twins’ remarkable journey resonated deeply with people in Salt Lake City and beyond, garnering an outpouring of support and affection. Messages of love and encouragement poured in through fan mail, which the girls cherished, especially during their hospital stay. Their story touched many.
When the twins were finally discharged from the hospital, they received a warm and joyous ‘Welcome Home’ celebration. The community rejoiced at the successful outcome of the separation surgery, embracing the girls with open arms and celebrating their newfound hope for a brighter future. For Maliyah, though, another journey was just beginning.
Maliyah Needed A Kidney
The medical team faced a tough choice due to the twins’ shared kidney. Kendra got it while Maliyah relied on dialysis for a couple of months before her mom selflessly donated hers. For years, everything appeared to be on track for Maliyah until an unexpected turn of events a decade later when her body started rejecting her mom’s kidney. The disheartening setback forced her back to dialysis, leaving the future filled with uncertainty once more.
Maliyah’s future hung in uncertainty as her condition remained unpredictable, and the duration of her required treatment was unclear. One thing was certain, though: she urgently needed another kidney to improve her situation.
Giving The Gift Of Life
For an additional 18 months, Maliyah bravely endured dialysis while hoping for an organ donation. Despite the difficulties, her spirit remained positive and unwavering. Erin Herrin, her mother, admired Maliyah’s resilience as she also dealt with the loss of friends who were on dialysis like her. Finally, after a long wait, an anonymous donor stepped forward with a generous gift – a kidney that would change Maliyah’s life, allowing her to leave dialysis behind.
Though she had gotten a kidney, uncertainties still loomed ahead for Maliyah. The outcome remained unknown, and only time could reveal whether her body would accept or reject the new kidney.
She Needed Another Surgery
Maliyah’s family felt scared and uncertain about her survival. After her mom’s brave kidney donation, she enjoyed ten years with it before it failed. Now facing another kidney transplant, she hoped for a complication-free procedure. Yet, the challenges didn’t end there, making the road ahead more difficult.
Despite a successful second kidney transplant, Maliyah faced additional problems. Her new kidney appeared to malfunction, leading to severe dehydration on two occasions. A third scare followed due to an incorrect medication dosage. But through it all, she showed incredible strength and resilience, overcoming each hurdle and continuing to survive.
They Were Not Used To Being Separated
Being attached together was definitely a unique bond, but for Kendra and Maliyah, it felt really odd. That’s why they’re super thankful their parents decided to go for the risky surgery to separate them. Now, they’re living separate lives and couldn’t be happier. Plus, with their totally different personalities, they know they would’ve bickered non-stop if they stayed conjoined.
Today, Kendra and Maliyah are relishing their individual lives, pursuing their unique passions and interests. It’s a uniquely remarkable journey of independence and self-discovery.
Navigating Through High School
As teenagers, their future was uncertain, and their parents weren’t sure if they’d reach this stage. But they defied the odds, entering high school with newfound freedom and independence. Each day, they tackled school activities with the help of a friend. With time, things like moving around campus and even cooking dinner solo at home became easier. Their journey was full of triumphs and resilience.
Every achievement felt like a significant milestone, as they never imagined having such independence. Each step was a true accomplishment for them.
They Knew Getting Around Would Be Hard
Achieving independence required creativity in mobility. Thus, their father came up with a brilliant solution using doctor’s stools, which made movement around the house much easier. However, they still needed something for longer distances outside. Luckily, they found the perfect alternative.
From further outdoor outings like going to amusement parks to concerts, electric scooters became their trusty companions. Meanwhile, at high school and for shorter distances, they relied on walkers to navigate their way around.
Next They Had To Learn To Walk
Kendra and Maliyah’s P.E. teacher, Donna, saw their potential despite their physical challenges. So together, they set a goal to walk on crutches by the end of the year, and with Donna’s support, they worked hard to achieve it. When they succeeded, it was a triumphant moment for everyone.
In barely any time, the girls progressed to using crutches and even managed to navigate the school staircase! Thank heavens for the impact great teachers make in our lives.
School Needed To Be A Safe Zone For The Girls
Kendra and Maliyah Herrin thrived in high school, embracing their unique journey as formerly conjoined twins. Using walkers around the school didn’t hold them back, and they were fortunate not to face bullying. Their positive outlook inspired others, showing that with the proper mindset, anything is possible.
When they started high school, they couldn’t help but feel nervous. Making friends and participating in activities were on their minds, wondering if they could fit in like the other kids.
Fast Friendships Were Built
Kendra and Maliyah Herrin have always been thankful for their friends’ acceptance and support. These people saw past their physical differences and admired their bravery and resilience. One friend, Anabelle, was inspired by the twins’ ability to face whatever they faced with grace. She feels fortunate to have them as friends and loves the fact that they all met and got to share so much time together.
Despite their strong bond, there was one challenge that seemed almost insurmountable for the sisters. Wonder what that is? Well, you have probably already guessed it.
Learning To Drive
Learning to drive can be a scary challenge, and for Maliyah and Kendra, who defied the odds since birth, it was no exception. Their parents were unsure of what the future held, but the determined sisters decided to take on the challenge. Could they succeed in learning to drive and conquer this new milestone?
With their newfound confidence and determination, the twins embraced various challenges. You’ll be glad to know that not only did they conquer the roads, but they also learned to navigate their way through life with grace and resilience.
Staying Optimistic Was Sometimes Hard
Despite the myriad of challenges in their lives, the Herrin twins maintained an unwavering positive attitude. During an interview, they humorously pointed out the convenience of having only one set of toenails to paint! Their self-confidence and optimistic perspective are truly remarkable, even leaving their mother in awe.
With their unwavering determination to stay positive, the twins confronted challenges that could easily dampen their spirits. Still, will they triumph over the obstacles presented by a world that isn’t always accommodating to individuals with disabilities?
Role Models For People With Special Needs
The Herrin twins, beyond being viral sensations, have emerged as advocates for individuals with disabilities. Using their online platform, they promote inclusivity and understanding, encouraging open conversations about their experiences. Kendra advises others not to fear asking questions. Although dealing with stares and getting around isn’t always easy, they handle it with grace.
With their advocacy efforts, the Herrin twins aspire to increase inclusivity and acceptance. They demonstrate that they can achieve anything regardless of their challenges. By sharing their experiences and spreading awareness, they aim to break down barriers and inspire others to embrace diversity and treat everyone with respect and kindness.
They Are Two Unique People
Despite being twins, Kendra and Maliyah feel that they look nothing alike. But they embrace their differences. They also value their individuality and are grateful for the separation, as it allowed them to pursue their unique interests and remain close friends without the challenges of being stuck together.
At school, Kendra and Maliyah got to showcase their individual personalities and talents, proving that they were more than just twins that used to be joined together.
Life Is Full Of Obstacles
Maliyah and Kendra have triumphed over significant obstacles, embracing life to the fullest. However, their health remains a reminder of life’s unpredictability. The constant risk of potential hospitalization still hangs over them. Recently, as Kendra was about to start school, she faced a severe infection, serving as a stark reminder of life’s fragility.
After her surgery, Kendra spent several days in the hospital, receiving treatment with a wound vac to combat the infection. While Maliyah and Kendra have come a long way, their journey is far from over, and their health remains a constant concern.
Social Media Was The Boost They Needed
From their humble beginnings, Kendra and Maliyah’s YouTube channel has blossomed into something far greater than they could have ever imagined. Their genuine positivity and humor have touched the lives of people worldwide, becoming an unexpected source of inspiration. Getting in front of the camera was once unimaginable, but now they embrace it with open arms.
Through the potential backlash and rude comments on social media, Kendra and Maliyah remain positive by focusing on the positive impact they’re making. Thanks to having a strong support system, they have stayed true to their mission of spreading positivity and advocating for those with disabilities.
High School Graduates
The twins’ story is proof of the power of determination. From facing the uncertainty of separation surgery to navigating life with disabilities, they have proven that with courage and support, anything is possible. Their accomplishments, like graduating from school, serve as a source of inspiration for all.
The Herrin twins’ incredible journey proves the power of perseverance and human resilience. From fragile beginnings to remarkable achievements, they inspire us to overcome any obstacle.
The Life Of The Party
From a grim prognosis to thriving in their twenties, the Herrin twins have defied the odds. Their lives are now filled with joy, fun, and unforgettable moments with friends. Working full-time jobs and attending parties, they lead a life once deemed impossible.
As they continue to break barriers, the next challenge they might aim for could be pursuing higher education or starting their own business. Another ambitious goal might be becoming advocates on a global scale, using their platform to promote disability awareness and inclusivity.
Happy 20th Birthday, Twins!
Life has certainly been a rollercoaster for Maliyah and Kendra, but their resilience shines as they enter their twenties. They’ve conquered challenges before, and now they embrace the uncertainties ahead with optimism. The world eagerly awaits to see what these inspirational sisters will achieve next.
Their strong bond and shared experiences have already proven to be sources of strength in the face of adversity. With their determination and support for each other, they have shown the world that they can handle whatever comes their way. As they continue to navigate life’s journey, we’ll be cheering them on, knowing that their remarkable resilience will guide them through any challenges that lie ahead.
Nothing Seems Out Of Their Reach
By 2022, Kendra and Maliyah had turned 20 and were living independent lives. Kendra worked as a cashier and earned a phlebotomy certification, while Maliyah pursued digital media and graphic design and graduated from college. They proved that disabilities couldn’t stop them from achieving their dreams.
As they faced the future, a new fear arose – could they keep defying the odds and living their lives fully, or would their past struggles come back to haunt them?
They Are Unstoppable
Maliyah and Kendra’s determination and resilience have been nothing short of inspiring. They’ve shown the world that they are capable of achieving their dreams and living life on their terms. From driving to swimming, they are unstoppable and don’t let anything stand in their way. Their positive outlook and unwavering spirit serve as a reminder that anything is possible with the right mindset and determination. They are true role models for us all.
Their story is a powerful reminder that life is about embracing challenges and transforming them into opportunities for growth and inspiration. They’ve shown us that with determination and a positive mindset, we can overcome any obstacle and create a life filled with joy and fulfillment. Their journey serves as a beacon of hope and encouragement for everyone, reminding us to approach life with courage, resilience, and a willingness to turn challenges into triumphs.