Together at birth, the sisters Carmen and Lupita know that they will spend their whole lives together.
The two girls joined at the abdomen to their pelvis, where their spines meet, both have two arms, but only one leg each – Carmen controls the right leg and Lupita, the left.
At the age of their first step – which was not easy as they had to learn to balance and coordinate, the Mirror.
They are omphalopagus twins, making up 10% of all twins joined together. It means that each of the girls has a heart, a set of arms, a set of lungs and a stomach.
At one of the girls’ initial disagreements, Mama Norma Andrade-Solli watched as her daughter Carmen gulped down the last milk and, still hungry, immediately reached for her sister Lupita’s bottle.
As you might expect, this did not end well and the tormented sister let out a displeased wail. “They would fight for the baby bottle,” said 49-year-old Norma.
“Carmen always ate for Lupita and then she took her bottle. So Lupita would get upset. ‘
Like all siblings, Carmen and Lupita had their fair share of arguments. But it was also the beginning of the couple’s learning to get along.
Carmen says, “We argued a lot when we were little, it was the process of figuring out that we are quite stuck together.”
Lupita adds, “She would pull on my hair,” as Carmen says, “She would bite.”
The duo share a number of ribs, a liver, their circulatory system, and their digestive and reproductive systems.
When Lupita and Carmen were young, doctors considered separating them, but concluded that it could not be done safely because they shared too many vital organs and their lower back.
Carmen says, “We will never separate. We will never be individual people. We got a weird hand, but we have to deal with it.”
The sisters can be seen in an upcoming Channel Four documentary Two Sisters, One Body.
And although the girls are physically put together, they are very clearly separate people. Carmen admits she’s the most talkative, but Lupita says she’s the funniest.
The pair and mom Norma talk during a Zoom call from their Connecticut home in New Milford, a town of about 30,000 residents.
Carmen said, “We like it. It is a very small town, but it is very nice. The people are nice. We have many friends here. ‘
Norma and their father Victor brought them to the United States from Veracruz, Mexico, in search of better medical treatment as a baby.
Carmen says, “My mom was told that many of the twins joined together are no more than three days old.”
And Lupita adds, “The doctor said to my father – choose one or they both die. We both would have died if a charity hadn’t brought us to the US. “
The family moved when the girls were two years old and, once in America, doctors said they would never be separated, and would die on the operating table or spend their lives in intensive care with every attempt.
So the family, including older sister Abby, now 24, settled on what would become their new normal. Of course there were struggles and they faced prejudice and ignorance.
Norma explains: “When they were little, I took them to the mall. I put Carmen and Lupita in one of the buggies in the mall and a lady was upset because I was ‘too cheap’ and forced two babies into the pram. “
Despite everything, it was only two little girls who did what little girls do.
“They would do handstands all the time,” Norma recalls.
“We never talked about them being different. They learned how they differed in their own way and that they were fine. ‘
The girls have faced difficult questions all their lives.
Carmen rolls her eyes and remembers, “When we were nine or ten, were we once asked how sex would work?
“So you’re in the middle of a public place and they were like ‘how would that work?’ And I was like ‘I’m nine’.”
It’s not just inappropriate questions, says Carmen, there are also inappropriate comments.
She says, “There will be grown adults who say, ‘Oh, you look like aliens.'”
Lupita agrees, “Or sometimes someone says, ‘Does your mom look like you?’, And she’s standing next to me.”
Surely this must have upset them enormously?
Lupita says, “It depends on the day, but we treat it with comical reactions. When someone asks us if we are twins or a sister, we usually respond with something like ‘no, we are just very cousins’. “
‘It’s not all we think about being put together. We are also two Mexican twins who want to get along in Trump’s America – sometimes that’s just as important as being attached to your sister. “
The Trump administration recently attempted to remove the program that would allow the family – and other immigrant families – to remain in the U.S.
The delayed action program means that immigrant families can stay if their children are under medical treatment. They currently have to renew their right of residence every year.
They finished high school, Carmen learned to drive and on the second attempt.
Lupita says, “My dad wouldn’t let me drive after I almost hit something.”
And Carmen explains, “I have the right leg and I’m a little taller than her. We tried to get her to hold the wheel once. It didn’t really work.”
Lupita adds, “I turned on the turn signals. It actually is. “
The two have loved animals since they were little and see their future as a farm.
After attending an agricultural high school, they now attend college two days a week and hope to study veterinary.
“We have both been interested in animals since we were five,” said Lupita. “But due to certain physical issues, we’re going to go into vet technology and hopefully continue with a bachelor’s degree in animal science.”
High school was a good time for the girls and they made good friends.
And one teacher in particular, Mr. Davenport, made sure everything went smoothly. In the new documentary, the twins say goodbye to him in tears. Carmen says, “There have been physical obstacles. But he never said anything or made us feel like we couldn’t do something. “
The lock will continue for the time being. The girls hope it will be in time for their 20th birthday in a few weeks. They want to party, go to the park, hang out with their friends or go on a boat with their father.
They have passed the time watching Tiger King and listening to 90s music.
Destiny’s Child is a favorite.
The two spend very little time thinking about getting together.
There are few arguments today. In the worst case, they can place separate headphones.
Lupita says, “We all worked it out a long time ago.” Carmen adds, “We’re two peas in a pod.”
Two Sisters, One Body airs on Sunday at 9:15 p.m. on Channel 4