Monday, October 23, 2006

Brothers And Sisters All

by Matthew Sanborn Smith

"In other news, it was a tough beginning eighteen months ago for a spunky pair of twins born separated in Providence, Rhode Island . . ."

"That's right, John, but surgeons at Hasbro Children's Hospital say that today's conjoining appears to have been successful. Jill and Janette Freiberg have more."

"Thank you, John and Tom. After eighteen hours in the operating room, little Anthony and Andre Comulko are recovering tonight, in serious but stable condition."

"Husband and wife doctors, Greg, Donna and Devri Tomason performed the surgery today in what many considered to be the Comulko's only hope for a normal life. The Doctors' Tomason are here with me now. Can you tell us, Dr. Greg Tomason, what exactly was involved in today's surgery?"

"Well, we went with a joining that was as normal as possible within the limits of medical knowledge. There was no chance for spinal fusion, of course. What we did was dangerous enough as it was. We started off by removing Andre's right leg, seeing that he's shown lefty tendencies in therapy, and we removed a good part of both of their rib cages. We were able to connect their livers together and enough arterial tissue that once Andre's heart has atrophied and everything's healed, they won't be coming apart anytime soon."

"And I understand your twin here is not a surgeon, but came out to support the patients?"

"Yes, I'm Garry Tomason and I'm a dispatcher for the Department of Sanitation."

"You must be pretty proud of your brother and wife and sister-in-law."

"I am, I am. And I'm also proud of little Anthony and Andre. They've had a great attitude throughout and they came through it like real troopers."

"I'm sure the folks at home send out their prayers to the boys. Can you tell me, Dr. Devri Tomason, are the boys' chances good?"


"Uh, and have the three of you had a lot of experience joining separated twins?"


"Thank you. Dr. Donna Tomason, can you elaborate on that?"

"Certainly, although this is the first time we've joined twins that were completely separated, we've done quite a number of operations on twins that weren't very well joined in the first place, like at the earlobes or little fingers only."

"Thank you doctors."

"Can I just say that we were drawn to this work because of our unique relationship? We're married right-right, left-left rather than the normal right-left, right-left and although it's awkward, it's the way we fell in love."

"Makes for a lot of spooning."

"Thank you, Mr. Tomason."

"So we've seen prejudice in our own lives. Kids can be ten times as cruel and that's why we've dedicated our careers to bringing some normalcy to the lives of these disadvantaged children."

"Except for Garry."

"Oh, you had to go there, didn't you, Devri? We had a nice little heartwarming human interest story going there and you drove it off a cliff. Ms. Freiberg and Ms. Freiberg, I'd like your viewers to know that I perform a service that is just as vital to the people of this city. And I took a personal day to be here today!"

"Thank you Doctors and Mr. Tomason. Heroes one and all. From Hasbro Children's Hospital, I'm Jill Freiberg --"

"And I'm Janette Freiberg. Back to you, John and Tom."

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