Gracie, the Gozitan Siamese twin whose sister died so that she could live, is now 14 and would like to become a doctor.
Interviewed in The Daily Mail, Gracie tells the newspaper how she had looked up the word conjoined when she got her first dictionary to see what it meant after hearing her parents use it with reference to her and her dead sister.
Gracie and Rosie had shared an aorta, a bladder and circulatory systems. The separation killed Rosie and although the parents could not bring themselves to allow one daughter to die, three Appeal Court judges decreed the twins should be separated.
“I know what it is now although I still didn’t really understand,” she told the newspaper.
Gracie found her and her sister’s story on the internet about a year later and recounted she had felt as if she was reading someone else’s story.
The twins birth had placed Catholic parents Michael and Rina Attard in a heartbreaking dilemma. They new their twins were conjoined before they were born but they never considered abortion and after the birth decided not to separate them.
But they were over-ruled by the courts. A complex 20-hour surgery followed and Rosie, the weaker twin, died three months later.
Two years later, Michael and Rina had another daughter, who they named Rosie.
Gracie told the Daily Mail: “I don’t feel guilty that I lived and she died because what happened wasn’t my decision. I haven’t cried, but there is sadness. Sometimes I want her to be with me. We were the same age. We’d probably think like each other.”
She speaks about her wish to become a doctor “maybe because doctors saved my life, but I think I’d want to anyway”.
The newspaper also spoke to the parents about their ordeal and the tough decision they had to make and also about Rina’s second pregnancy, and the trepidation that accompanied it.
Read the Daily Mail interview here.
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