Inseparable: 10 Years Joined At The Head

Documentary
English

Region: Western

Year of Production: 2017

Duration: 60 minuts

In the spirit of the BBC’s acclaimed “Up” series, “Inseparable” would continue CBC’s chronicling of the remarkable Hogan twins. As Krista and Tatiana approach their 10th birthdays this October, it is a perfect time to update their story. Conjoined twins are a rarity but those joined at the head, craniopagus twins, are the rarest of all - one in 2.5 million. More than 95% don’t survive. Yet Tatiana and Krista, born at 34 weeks, came into the world with a lusty cry and were relatively healthy. It was a medical miracle.

The structure of the twins’ brains makes them unique in the world and it’s suspected that they have the exceptional ability to see through each others’ eyes, feel what the other experiences, perhaps even know what the other is thinking. That’s because the girls’ brains are connected through what their neurologist Douglas Cochrane calls a thalamic bridge. It links the thalamus of one twin to the thalamus of the other. The thalamus is a walnut shaped structure, like a switchboard, which relays sensory and motor signals, and regulates consciousness.

Signs of the twins’ interconnection were evident early. More has been learned about their shared senses and thoughts, and a functional MRI is planned to explore their neurological connection in greater detail. And now that the girls are older they are beginning to describe what they are experiencing.

Their progress continues to astound, as they reach hallmarks never thought possible - advancing to Grade 4,learning to read, write and do arithmetic. Physically, too, they defy limitations - running, tumbling, climbing, always rambunctious and daring. At birth, it was predicted they would spend their lives lying on their backs. Now they can’t wait to ride a specially built bicycle, and fly down the hills on a custom snowboard just like their sister.

Their health, however, remains precarious. They are subject to epileptic seizures, suffer from diabetes and Krista is now legally blind in one eye. Despite the challenges, they remain happy and exuberant, embraced by a multi-generational clan who treat them as normal and regard them as a blessing.

This will be both an intimate portrait of two amazing little girls and their loving family, and a scientific quest into the very concept of individuality and the human mind.

PRODUCTION COMPANY: Curious Features Inc.

Cast/Participants: Krista Hogan, Tatiana Hogan