The Ultimate Choice

An operation to separate the Lakeberg twins was surely compassionate -- but was it wise?

At dawn last Friday, Reitha and Ken Lakeberg gathered quietly with family and friends in the intensive-care unit of Children's Hospital in Philadelphia. As tears began to well, the Lakebergs made plaster imprints of the tiny hands of their daughters Amy and Angela, then picked them up and hugged and kissed them. Born seven weeks ago, the girls were Siamese twins, joined breast to belly, with a fused liver and a shared heart. As they cuddled the girls, Reitha, 24, and Ken, 26, knew that they would not see Amy, "the ornery one," alive again. Her fingernails had been left bare...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!