Two-Headed Baby Reminds Doctors of Abigail, Brittany Hensel (PHOTOS)

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on December 22 2011 9:12 AM

A Brazilian baby was born with two heads, named Jesus and Emanuel, but appears to be in good health, according to doctors.

The mother of the baby, Maria de Nazare, thought she was having twins, but ended up with a baby that has two heads, two backbones, and one heart.

 Doctors were afraid about the health of both the baby and the mother, but miraculously were able to save both.

When doctors scanned her they realized that the baby had two heads and that a normal birth would be a great risk both for mother and baby, hospital director Claudionor Assis de Vasconcelos told Brazil's O Povo newspaper. The caesarean took an hour because the baby was sitting down.

Despite all the problems we have as a small interior hospital we managed to save both mother and baby, which was our aim. And for us it was a great surprise to find out that the child was in really good health, he added.

Brazilian doctors say that they are unable to separate the newborn because they only have one set of organs.

What we know statistically is that the children who undergo surgery and survive are the children who have less organs in common, she said.

Jesus and Emanuel isn't the first two-headed baby to be born. There have been 14 reported cases of dicephalic parapagus, a rare form of conjoinment, over the past 200 years, according to Yahoo News. One of the most recent examples was also in Brazil this year when Sueli Ferreira gave birth to a child with two heads, but sadly the baby died only a few hours later because of a lack of oxygen to one of the heads.

One of the most famous examples is Abigail and Brittany Hensel, which was featured in a 1996 documentary.

The Hensel twins each have a separate head, but also have conjoined bodies. The difference between the Hensel twins and Jesus and Emanuel, is that they have two hearts, two stomachs, four lungs, and other non-shared organs.

The Hensel twins were also featured in an interview with The Learning Channel on 2006 where they told the public that they were able to successfully pass their drivers license exams. The pair is able to drive a car when Abby controls the pedals, while Brittany controls the signals and lights.

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