A pair of conjoined twins from Idaho took a literal step toward reaching a developmental milestone on Monday, thanks to a specialized harness that will help them learn how to stand, and eventually walk. Nine-month-old Callie and Carter Torres, who were determined to be too healthy to separate, share a single set of legs and their organs from the abdomen down.
The jumper, which was developed by The Utah Center for Assistive Technology (UCAT), was provided free-of-charge to the family, and will help them learn to stand independently and gain muscle strength, Fox 13 Now reported.
“This is hopefully the next step in helping them balance and move with each other,” Chelsea Torres, the girls’ mother, told Deseret News. “They know how to crawl a little bit.”
Torres, 24, was told her daughters were conjoined during an 8-week ultrasound appointment, and has been keeping supporters updated on the family’s GoFundMe page and the “Beating the Odds with Callie and Carter” Facebook page. While one specialist recommended an abortion, Torres and her husband, Nick, decided to carry the twins to full-term and traveled to Texas Children's Hospital for their birth.
In March, the girls were sent home after the Torres were told their children were so healthy, that they weren't candidates for a risky separation surgery, The Houston Chronicle reported. The family returned to Idaho and began to adjust everyday living, like the challenge of finding clothes that would fit their daughters.
Torres said there aren’t many resources like UCAT near their home, so the family is willing to travel for help. The center’s creative specialist, Kevin Christensen, began working with them in September and was on-hand Monday for the girl’s first fitting.
“Kids typically their age are pulling themselves up and standing,” he told the Deseret News. “(The jumper) gets them in the upright playing posture. That gives them a whole different perspective and helps them learn and grow.”
The family, which includes a 4-year-old big brother, is especially grateful for a device that’s custom-made to fit both of their daughters, which is something they struggled with after their birth.
“Just to see something that is custom-made for our daughters to help them grow and achieve walking and crawling, it’s nice,” Torres told Fox 13 Now.