Man is conjoined with self

conjoinedA routine trip to the doctor became a journey into the medical history books for Cliff Boletus, a 38-year-old actuary from Buffalo, New York, when doctors discovered that he is actually conjoined with himself.

“We discovered it accidentally,” said his physician, Dr. John Wholsom. “We took a DNA sample of cells from Cliff’s left hand, but, by mistake, the same test was carried out again using cells from his right hand.”

When doctors examined the results, they discovered, incredibly, that both hands had exactly the same genetic code.

“In non-medical terms, Mr Boletus is a kind of like a pair of conjoined identical hemi-twins,” said Wholsom. “Conjoined twins would be rare enough. But these ‘twins’ are fused into a single adult person. The left side of his body belongs to one half of his semi-self, the right half to the other. Both halves share identical DNA.”

Wholsom admits that while the concept may seem horrific and monstrous to the layperson, to a medical professional like himself it is fascinating.

“I don’t see Mr Boletus as a disgusting, unnatural aberration. I see him as a patient I can heal.”

Wholsom and his team of surgeons plan to separate Cliff Boletus in a 26-hour operation. Each half will receive an eye, an arm, leg, and lung, and a hemisphere of brain. Because the Boletus twins share a single heart, liver, and other organs, a total separation will not be possible. However, doctors believe they can connect the bloodstream of the two twins by running a long hose between them.

“It’s not perfect,” said Wholsom, “but the operation will allow each of the twins a degree of independence he has never before experienced.”

The operation is dangerous, and, even if successful, the twins will require artifiical limbs, and years of therapy to learn how to use them. “But it’s so worth it,” said Wholsom.

Asked what differentiated Boletus from other people possessing two arms and legs on opposite sides of their body, the doctor said that it may be a long time before medical science is ready to answer that question. “But I, for one, am not willing to wait. And Mr Boletus should not have to wait either. He has already waited thirty years. He must be separated.”

Boletus admits to being “a little nervous” about the operation, but claims he is looking forward to life as two normal people.

“It’s going to be an adjustment, that’s for sure,” he said. “But it’s what the doctor thinks is best, and that’s good enough for me.”

Boletus previously had little suspicion that he was actually two half-persons inside a single body. “Of course, I’ve sometimes found it difficult to make up my mind about things – almost as if different voices were debating in my head. I always thought it was just normal indecision, but the doctor says that’s my inner twins arguing.”

His wife, Enid, was initially concerned about the prospect of being married to two half-men at once. But a bizarre twist of fate put her fears to rest.

“Dr. Wholsom tested me too,” she said, “and by a weird coincidence, I am also conjoined with myself. I’ll be having the operation a week after Cliff, and then the four of us plan to renew our wedding vows in a romantic double ceremony.”

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