Anastasia and Tatiana Dogaru
Anastasia and Tatiana Dogaru (born 2003) are seven-year-old craniopagus conjoined twins
Conjoined twins
Conjoined twins are identical twins whose bodies are joined in utero. A rare phenomenon, the occurrence is estimated to range from 1 in 50,000 births to 1 in 100,000 births, with a somewhat higher incidence in Southwest Asia and Africa. Approximately half are stillborn, and a smaller fraction of...

. They were scheduled to begin the first of several surgeries to separate them at Rainbow Babies and Children's Medical Center in Cleveland, Ohio
Cleveland, Ohio
Cleveland is a city in the U.S. state of Ohio and is the county seat of Cuyahoga County, the most populous county in the state. The city is located in northeastern Ohio on the southern shore of Lake Erie, approximately west of the Pennsylvania border...

. However, in August 2007 the surgery was called off as too dangerous.

The twins were born in Rome, Italy to Romania
Romania is a country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeastern Europe, on the Lower Danube, within and outside the Carpathian arch, bordering on the Black Sea...

n parents, Alin Dogaru, a Byzantine Catholic priest, and Claudia Dogaru, a nurse. Their mother heard about the successful separation of Egyptian-born twins who were also joined at the head and hoped her children could also be successfully separated. The Dogaru family, who also have a six-year-old daughter Maria, were brought to north Texas
Texas is the second largest U.S. state by both area and population, and the largest state by area in the contiguous United States.The name, based on the Caddo word "Tejas" meaning "friends" or "allies", was applied by the Spanish to the Caddo themselves and to the region of their settlement in...

by the World Craniofacial Foundation to have Anastasia and Tatiana evaluated for possible separation.

The girls are currently developing normally for their age and speak both Romanian and English. They get around with Anastasia leading the way and Tatiana following. The top of Tatiana's head is attached to the back of Anastasia's. Anastasia, whose kidneys don't function, relies on her sister's kidneys, and Tatiana on her sister's circulatory system. The girls also share blood flow to the back of the brain and some brain matter. Doctors estimated the twins had only a 50 percent chance of surviving the surgery. There were also risks of complications, such as brain damage, but the girls also risk eventual death if they remain conjoined. Their parents believed separation will give them their best chance at living a normal life.

In May 2007, doctors used a catheter to insert wire coils into the veins of the two girls, successfully redirecting their blood flow. It was the first time the procedure was attempted in conjoined twins. Doctors pushed back the first of the planned separation surgeries to June 2007 while studying the complex circulatory system of the twins, but decided it was too risky.

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