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Siamese Twins Joined At Head Move Out on Their Own

December 27, 1988

LONG BEACH, Calif. (AP) _ Last year, Yvonne and Yvette McCarther caused a stir by going to college. This year, they are moving out of their mother’s home and grabbing the spotlight again.

The women are Siamese twins, joined at the top of the head.

″I’m 39, and I always said I was going to move into my own place by the time I was 40,″ said Yvette. ″I mean, when you get to be in your late 30s, you just decide - it’s time to get your own place.″

Yvonne agreed.

″I only wish I’d gotten around to it before - I love it, being on my own,″ she said.

The twins are craniopagus twins, the rarest kind of Siamese birth. Though joined at the skull, they have separate brains and personalities but share a common bloodstream.

Their mother, Willie McCarther of Compton, taught her daughters to think of themselves as separate beings.

So it was natural they would someday move out on their own. Their new home is a tiny apartment with one bedroom which rents for $510 a month, paid for with close budgeting of government checks.

One the top of their television set is an autographed photo of Ronnie and Donnie Galyon, 37, the only other known pair of living adult Siamese twins joined together. The Galyons tour with a circus, as the McArthurs did in early years in order to pay hospital bills.

Their mother ruled out surgery to separate them, fearing one would die.

Last year, they gave up their television for English, math and computer classes at Compton Community College.

Yvette said it took her weeks to find her new apartment.

″I saw one in Compton I liked, but it was so expensive, I told the guy it would have to wait till I got married,″ she giggled.

″Better see if he’s got a brother,″ deadpanned Yvonne.

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