(Photo: Screengrab/A Current Affair)
Parents of an unborn child with two faces and two brains are battling against the medical organization that wants them to abort the fetus. But Renee Young and Simon Howie, of Australia, say that they will do everything in their power to keep their child, no matter the odds.
"It'd be the same as being a child with autism or Down syndrome," Howie told "A Current Affair." "I don't believe in terminating the baby if it's healthy and growing fine, and everything is going to plan. Renee was the same."
Three-dimensional sonograms show that the child has two legs, two arms, one body and all vital organs, including a strong heart. Yet the child also has two faces with the same features, and two brains connected with one brain stem. Doctors have urged the couple to abort the child, but by the time the abnormality was discovered, it was too late for a traditional abortion.
"It's probably the rarest of all the conjoined twins. You'd be thinking numbers of one in a million to one in two million for this kind of anomaly," Dr. Greg Kesby, a maternal fetal specialist, told MSN.
The family is prepared to take on any challenge, and provide the necessary medical treatment for the now 19-week-old unborn child.
"The heartbeat's beautiful," Young said. "The brain activity is good in both brains. Everything happens for a reason."
"We've got a really big family. We don't really involve ourselves in the community except for schools where the children are," Howie added. "We have a good family base … it gives us a lot of support."
The couple's other children are also excited for the baby, whom they know will be different.
"We'll love it no matter what," daughter Jess said.
"It might be deformed, but it's still a baby," daughter Patsy-Anne added. "It's still a human."
Dr. Kesby said there is a chance the child might not make it to delivery, but even if she does, it will be a huge chance if she survives outside the womb. That still has not deterred Howie and Young from treasuring the pregnancy and the time that they have already had with their baby.
"If I only get two days with the baby, I only get two days," Young said. "That's just the time we actually get to spend with the baby and its brothers and sisters get to meet their little brother or sister."