What happens when one member of conjoined twins decides to marry?
In the Philippines, conjoined twins named Johny and Tony are facing yet another dilemma in their life, when the former decided to marry Nerissa, their widowed neighbor.
Since birth, the twins have been together due to their inborn condition of being conjoined. Conjoined twins are identical twins joined in utero. The twins’ condition is called omphalopagus. Omphalopagus conjoined twins usually share a heart, liver, or digestive system.
According to a report by Daily Mail, this type of conjoined twins makes up 10 percent of all conjoined twins across the globe. The report added that while the success rates to separate the twins have improved over the years, surgical separation is still rare. It often depends on how many of the organs the twins share. Since 1950, at least one twin has survived separation about 75 percent of the time.
Due to their condition and the rare form of their bodies, Johny and Tony have been a source of ridicule from town folks in their hometown in Pampanga, in the central part of the Philippines. As the two aged, their condition became harder and harder to bear.
In an ABS-CBN program called Rated K, in the episode called “Petmalu,” which aired on November 19, the life story of the conjoined twins Johny and Tony was featured, alongside the love story of Johny and Nerissa.
According to the episode, since there are judgmental people, the twins decided not to finish their studies. While the two only finished second grade of elementary, they know the basics of reading, writing, and solving.
Even before they were orphaned, Johny and Tony learned how to live a normal and dignified life. They earn a living by going to night markets and carnivals to sell popcorn. Johny and Tony said in the episode that they usually earn around 300-500 peso daily ($6-10).
As to the relationship of Johny and Nerissa, it all began when the two met in one of the night markets where the twins sell popcorn. It was love at first sight, according to Johny. Johny decided to court Nerissa, who was widowed to her first husband. After the courtship, as the adage says, the rest was history.
To date, Johny and Nerissa have been together for seven years. Of course, Tony serves as a third-wheel to the relationship. Although awkward, Tony understands the situation of his brother and he said that they talked about the relationship even before Johny and Nerissa decided to stay in one house.
Nerissa, on the other hand, said that at first she felt “ashamed,” but as their relationship deepens and moves forward, she started to accept the situation and did not mind whatever other people would say. When asked what was the reason for her to like Johny, Nerissa said that Johny’s kindness and sincerity made her love him.
Johny and Nerissa said that they are planning to marry each other soon and Johny’s twin, Tony, will serve as the best man. For Tony, this is not a problem since he supports his brother at whatever decision Johny makes.
Johny and Nerissa’s love for each other is admirable. However, Tony’s understanding to his brother is also worth noting since it shows how fraternal love transcends the unbelievable.
[Featured Image by Hulton Archive/Getty Images]