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Rare Conjoined Twins Born to Alabama Pastor and Wife — ‘We Love Them So Much’

conjoined twins

Conjoined twins Susannah and Elizabeth Castle were born at 10:06 a.m. on April 22, 2021, at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia to Stephanie and Dwight Castle. Dwight is pastor of missions at Redeemer Community Church in Avondale, Alabama. The twins join two brothers and a sister.

“The girls are here!” the couple posted on Facebook. “Stephanie was an absolute champ and did awesome and is also recovering well. We are so thankful for a smooth delivery without any complications. Thank you, Jesus.”

AL.com reported that the twin girls have separate heads, brains, and limbs. They also have separate hearts and share only the lining around the heart – the pericardium. The girls do share a liver and most likely a portion of their small intestines. This is a gift because the liver is the only human organ that regenerates. In time, the doctors will split the liver in half, leaving one half for each girl.

AP News reports that conjoined twins are extraordinarily rare. According to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, which has successfully separated 25 pairs of conjoined twins since 1957, conjoined twins occur once in every 50,000 to 60,000 births. About 70% of conjoined twins are female, and most are stillborn.

In preparation for the girls births, Dwight said, “I think in a lot of ways, God has sort of been preparing us for this for a while. We’ve grown certainly in awareness of how challenging it’s going to be and knowing we probably don’t know the half of it. But we have an increasing faith in the Lord that He is so clearly over this and providing for us.”

The Castles are still leaning on their faith and community. Dwight said, “We’re going to have a lot of help. He gives us new mercies each day and He’s faithful to do that. We just try to take it a day at a time and remember His faithfulness every step of the way and it really does fuel us to trust Him. That doesn’t guarantee they’ll live. It doesn’t guarantee the separation will happen or that it will go really well. There’s a lot of hopeful indications for all of those things, but our hope has to ultimately be in Him.”

Recently, the Castle Conjoined Twins Facebook page posted this:

“Hey dear friends! Thank you all so much for continuing to pray for us and sorry we haven’t done an update on the girls in a hot minute. We have been trying to establish some sort of rhythm of what it will look like for us to visit the NICU each day.
Man we are a week in and this is really hard! Even though we knew it would be, the reality of it is even more challenging. It’s difficult to ever feel like we are there enough, because it’s never going to be what a “normal” newborn situation would be like. If we spend every waking minute with them, we’re still missing out on a lot. And spending every waking minute at the NICU probably isn’t the healthiest thing for us either. In addition, Stephanie and I are different people with different personalities and different approaches to this – surprise, surprise. So, understanding our own thoughts and emotions about it, as well as the other person’s is a process.
Some days we have been doing one long chunk of time at the NICU and going home around dinner time, and some days we split it into two visits with a break in the middle. Please continue to pray for us as we sort through the practicalities, emotions, and healthy balance of this.”

A GoFundMe campaign has been set up for the family.