Today, people with disabilities are treated kindly. People with disabilities and just those who are “not like everyone else” are sympathetic, offer various benefits and special conditions, try to help. But it was quite another matter half a century ago. Siamese twins Masha and Dasha Krivoshlyapova are one of the most famous in our country. In many interviews, the sisters said that their life was not easy, and not only because of their unusual physiology.
Mikhail Krivoshlyapov worked as a personal driver for Lavrentiy Beria, and his wife - Ekaterina Krivoshlyapova - was a housewife. Young spouses dreamed of children and were incredibly happy to learn about the onset of pregnancy. Catherine’s stomach increased quite quickly and was astounding in size, all relatives immediately guessed: we should wait for twins. On January 4, 1950, through Caesarean section, the Siamese twins Masha and Dasha were born. According to one version, the doctor who took birth, from time to time allowed himself to drink alcohol in the workplace. He also abused on the day of the birth of unusual children. Seeing the twins, the doctor lost consciousness, and waking up, he decided to never drink alcohol again. The mothers of the unusual sisters said that her children died almost immediately after giving birth. However, one of the nurses could not look at the experiences of the young woman and secretly showed her the girls. After what she saw, Catherine experienced a serious shock and went to a psychiatric hospital for several years.
Physiological characteristics of sisters
The Krivoshlyapov twins had two heads for two, four arms and three legs. The bodies of the sisters joined at an angle of 90 degrees. The scientific name for this developmental anomaly is dicephales tetrabrachius dipus. Also, twins in the case of fusion of their lower limbs, pelvis and abdominal wall are often called ishiopagi. Scientists, of course, were interested in these children. There were many questions: are there any common internal organs, and how does such a double organism function in general? Separation of Siamese twins was a rare operation in those days. However, all physiological possibilities should be studied, after which this option could be considered.
Childhood and youth
The first seven years of their lives, the Siamese twins Masha and Dasha spent at the Institute of Pediatrics of the Academy of Medical Sciences of the USSR. In their mature interviews, the sisters recalled that time with horror. According to Masha and Dasha, various experiments were conducted daily on them, sometimes simply terrifying with their cruelty and soreness. Once the girls were put on ice to make them sick, and doctors were able to observe the body's reactions to the acute stage of a cold. After such an investigation, the sisters spent several days with a temperature of about 40 and were mentally prepared to say goodbye to life. But the girls were stronger and survived.
By the seventh birthday of the sisters, the doctors received all the data of interest and successfully defended more than a dozen dissertations. After that, the Siamese twins Dasha and Masha Krivoshlyapova were transferred to the Central Research Institute of Traumatology and Orthopedics. It was there that the girls met their second mother - nurse Nadezhda Fedorovna Gorokhov. This woman was the first to regard the Krivoshlyapovs as ordinary children, and not as a scientific exhibit. At the institute, the sisters received primary education and learned to walk.
Time passed, and interest in unusual twins faded. In adolescence, the sisters had their third leg amputated, after which they were sent from Moscow to Novocherkassk to a regular boarding school for children with motor problems.
From the world of science to the real
Siamese twins Masha and Dasha have suffered a lot from doctors in their first twenty years of life. But if life in scientific institutes was not very pleasant and easy, then the real hell began. At the boarding school the sisters immediately disliked. Other children constantly taunted them, sometimes physically offended.
After amputation of the third leg, the sisters could only move on crutches or a wheelchair. The "extra" limb performed a supporting function, having lost it, the girls felt worse. Moreover, in some interviews, the sisters said that they experienced phantom pain from time to time .
After 6 years of living in a boarding school in Novocherkassk , the Krivoshlyapov sisters returned to Moscow. It was 1970, they did not immediately succeed in finding a place for permanent accommodation. But after some time they were accommodated in the nursing home No. 6. Women lived there until their death. The elderly housemates recalled Dasha and Masha sullen and aggressive. The sisters never smiled, often swearing, sometimes drinking.
Was separation possible?
According to some sources, in 1989 the sisters were offered a separation operation. No guarantees are given in such cases. Often the operation ends with the death of one of the twins or two at once. In addition, the case of the Krivoshlyapov sisters was unique and complex in itself.
Masha and Dasha had a common circulatory system and some internal organs. Separation of Siamese twins with such a structure rarely has positive results. Anyway, even if the operation was offered, the sisters refused it without hesitation. They were too much connected with each other. Women were told to journalists that they saw only dreams and even read each other's thoughts. If you eat one, the second does not feel hunger, and even the mood is often one for two.
Relations with family and society
The incredibly famous Siamese twins in the USSR Masha and Dasha were the first children of their parents. After the birth of girls, their mother was treated for several years in a psychiatric institution. After recovery, the woman tried to find her children, but the meeting never took place. The sisters claim that they themselves found a mother and met her in adulthood, they were then 35 years old. A father was never interested in the fate of his children. The two younger brothers, who were born completely healthy, did not want to communicate with unusual sisters either. For some time, Masha and Dasha maintained communication with their mother, but then refused to see each other in the future. Society was hostile to unusual sisters. Siamese twins Dasha and Masha Krivoshlyapova visited Paris as an adult. They were shocked by the fact that in Europe passers-by on the streets did not look at them, and everywhere they were treated like ordinary people.
One body, two souls
Siamese twins are not so common in Russia. Masha and Dasha all their conscious lives proved to others that they are two different people. Indeed, initially the girls had one birth certificate for two, and did not want to give them two passports. At the same time, the sisters radically differed in characters and habits. Dasha was more vulnerable and softer, and Masha was calmer, somewhat ruder. It is difficult to believe this, but, despite their physiology, the sisters managed to fall in love and once even almost got married. Dasha always dreamed about children and her family, but doctors in her youth told her that one should not think about such things. According to some sources, the sisters tried to commit suicide, and more than once. If such stories can be safely attributed to gossip and rumors, then there are irrefutable facts. In the last years of her life, Dasha began to drink heavily. Doctors even coded the sisters for alcoholism, but this measure did not help.
On April 13, 2003, Dasha woke up and called a doctor, as she felt very ill. The sisters were hospitalized, and it turned out that Masha had already passed away. The diagnosis of acute heart attack was made. Living Dasha was told that her sister was injected with a potent drug, and she just sleeps. At this time, intoxication had already begun, and after 17 hours the second of the twins died. The sisters at that time were 53 years old. This is a rare case, because many other stories of Siamese twins end a couple of years after the birth of unusual children. According to experts, Masha and Dasha could live longer if they refused to drink alcohol.
Media about the Krivoshlyapov twins
At first, the sisters were zealously hidden from the public. Experts believed that such a sight could scare and shock Soviet citizens. But still, over time, documentaries and publications in the press began to appear. Gradually, the Krivoshlyapov sisters became known throughout the world and quite popular. In adulthood, from time to time they personally gave interviews and talked to reporters. This unusual story has been repeatedly covered in major print media and even on Central Television. Many viewers remember, for example, the Krivoshlyapov issue of the Let They Talk program. The Siamese twins Masha and Dasha did not receive anything from such fame. The sisters lived their lives modestly enough, and their disability pension was the main source of income. After death, the Siamese twins were cremated, their remains lie in a columbarium at the Nikolo-Arkhangelsk cemetery.