Conjoined twins are two babies who are born physically connected to each other. Conjoined twins develop when an early embryo partially separates to form two individuals. Most conjoined twins are stillborn or die shortly after birth.
The babies are often attached at the chest, pelvis or buttocks. The twins may share organs.
Surviving twins may be separated surgically. Success depends on where they’re joined and which organs they share.
The seven-year-old sisters, Pin and Pan, from Thailand, were born with their own heads, torsos, and arms but share the same legs
Each girl controls one leg and they have learnt to walk, dress, eat and even ride a tricycle as one.
The twins live in Nakhon Sawan, around 250km north of Bangkok, with their grandparents, who describe them as “normal, happy” children.
Although their bodies are connected, their personalities, looks and likes are quite different.
Pan keeps her hair short, while Pin’s is always long, says Noknoi Pongchamnan, 43, their step-grandmother, who is their guardian in the absence of their birth parents.
Despite their unusual physical appearance, the girls are popular members of the class, loved by schoolmates and teachers alike.
To help them cope with regular school activities, the girls have a customised walker to help them cover longer distances, as well as a specially-designed desk to help them sit up during class.
Their grandmother has high hopes for the twins too – she wants them to go to university and become doctors to help others with medical problems.
A doctor advised the family of an operation that would be available to separate the twins, but it is one of high risk. Both Pin and Pan say they want to stay together, believing that their love for each other is what connects them most.