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Conjoined Utah twins mark 7 years since separation surgery

Published: Thursday, Aug. 22 2013 2:25 p.m. MDT

Kendra and Maliyah Herrin (Screenshot Herrin Twins Facebook Page) Kendra and Maliyah Herrin (Screenshot Herrin Twins Facebook Page)

In a clip that aired on Oprah’s, “Where They Are Now” show Sunday, formerly conjoined twins Kendra and Maliyah Herrin of Salt Lake City giggled as they talked about life seven years after their 26-hour separation surgery.

“We play Barbies together,” said Maliyah in the clip.

“No we don’t,” Kendra responded.

“Yeah. She just doesn’t want to admit it,” Maliyah said smiling.

The girls are now 11 years old and are “healthier than ever, but prone to infections because of the titanium rods in their backs,” according to their mother, Erin. Kendra and Maliyah have surgeries to straighten their spines every six months.

Maliyah Herrin (Screenshot Herrin Twins Facebook Page) Maliyah Herrin (Screenshot Herrin Twins Facebook Page)

“(The surgeries) stink,” said Maliyah, “and they reek,” Kendra finished. They both said they miss seeing their dog during their surgeries.

The twins keep themselves active and attend physical therapy daily. They said they enjoy swimming, jumping on the trampoline and being with friends. They face their physical challenges with optimism.

“Kendra and Maliyah are so HAPPY!! They have so many people that love them so much. Their smiles light up a room,” Erin wrote on the family blog, Herrin Twins.com. “They have taught me so much about being who I need to. And taking one day at a time. It took them years to recover from their separation surgery, and it takes them sometimes weeks to recover from other surgeries and sicknesses. They take everything in stride and they move forward.”

Kendra Herrin (Screenshot Herrin Twins Facebook Page) Kendra Herrin (Screenshot Herrin Twins Facebook Page)

Kendra and Maliyah have an older sister, 13, as well as 7-year-old twin younger brothers.

Abby Stevens is a writer for the DeseretNews.com Faith and Family sections. She is a recent graduate of Brigham Young University–Idaho. Contact her at astevens@deseretdigital.com.

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