Conjoined twins reveal what it was like to be 'cut in half' aged four during life-threatening surgery

Lauren Clark
Two sisters who were born as conjoined twins have revealed what it was like to be “cut in half” aged four [Image: BBC Three]

Twins often have a strong bond – but two sisters have an even closer connection after being born conjoined.

Kendra and Maliyah Herrin, from Salt Lake in Utah, arrived in the world physically connected sharing a liver and just one kidney – and doctors didn’t initially think they’d live beyond 24 hours.

The girls, now 17, were then “cut apart” aged four during life-threatening surgery to separate them, and they now each live with one leg.

Their incredible story is being told in a new short film for BBC Three, Living Differently.

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After what the sisters have nicknamed their “cut apart day”, Kendra was left with the kidney while Maliyah was donated the organ by her mum Erin.

In the programme, the twins – who are currently attending secondary school – explain how they go about their daily lives on frames.

“When people first hear our story, they like to ask a lot of questions,” Maliyah explains.

“To get around, we do different things for different places.

The sisters were born sharing a liver and single kidney [Image: BBC Three]

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“I think we’ve adapted fully because we didn’t ever have two legs [each].”

Kendra adds: “We feel like we’re the same as everybody else, we just have a few things that are a little different.

“The best thing about having one leg each is we only have to paint one set of toenails, so that’s really nice.

“Mostly little kids stare at us, but when adults stare at us […] they should know not to stare.”

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The sisters say they have very different personalities and would have found it difficult to live permanently conjoined.

Kendra is the “outgoing” one they say, while Maliyah is quieter.

Living Differently is available to watch now on BBC Three’s YouTube channel and on BBC Three via iPlayer from Monday 29th April

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