‘Unusual’ Conjoined Triplets Made Headlines 15 Years; Today, They’re Unrecognizable

August 15, 2019 Updated: August 15, 2019

Macey, Mackenzie, and Madeline Garrison are among the rarest triplets in the world

Macey and Mackenzie are formerly conjoined twins who each have one leg and rely on prosthetics. Their triplet sister, Madeline, was not, People reported.

After birth, their biological mother decided she couldn’t care for them. Darla and Jeff Garrison, from Iowa, decided to foster them, recognizing the urgency for the girls to locate a good home. According to the outlet, the two already had three sons.

Macey and Mackenzie, the conjoined twins, underwent operations to become separated weeks after they were born.

Mackenzie went home after six weeks in medical care, and Macey came home a month later.

“We’d fallen in love with them. Our boys were so happy to have three sisters,” Darla told Closer magazine.

The Garrisons adopted all three girls two years after the operation, People magazine reported.

Then, they moved from California to a farm in Iowa. Linda Kontis, the co-founder of the foster-care agency that placed them, said the three have thrived since then.

“When you raise children who are handicapped in any way, when they’re surrounded by people who treat them like regular kids, that becomes how they see themselves,” Kontis said. “It wasn’t just Darla and Jeff, they took in these girls as a family unit. And that’s why they re fabulous kids today.”

Regarding their biological parents, the two had drug problems and didn’t see a doctor during their mother’s pregnancy.

But Children’s Hospital Los Angeles Pediatric Surgeon James Stein said conjoined twins Macey and Mackenzie had to overcome a lot to be equal with their peers.

“The girls have succeeded through hard work and the commitment by their family. Their progression is wonderful and inspiring,” he told People magazine.

“I see them actually maturing,” added Darla. “Now that I’m in school, I’m not as available, and they’ve really stepped up. They’re pretty proud of that. They do a lot for 10-year-olds, really.”

She said the three have embraced household chores, and she added that due to their rapid growth, Macey and Mackenzie had to swap prosthetic limbs several times per year.

What’s more, when she went back to college to study, Darla said the girls began becoming more studious themselves.

“We’re not to the point yet where they can just go out and about with their prosthetic legs,” Darla said. “It’s a balance issue. You have to train and train, and that’s what we’re doing with them at school.”

After adoption, the parents weren’t sure what would happen.

“We had no idea what to expect – but they only needed someone who loved them. We got Madeline when she was four days old and Macey and Mackenzie came to us after four weeks,” Darla told Closer.

Darla added: “[Madeline] says she wishes she had one leg, and hops around. But she’s starting to realise she’s the lucky one.”

Madeline also loves to ride horses and has been helping her sisters ride.

Added Darla: “They were scared at first, but Madeline has been a wonderful teacher.”

Mackenzie noted: “I wish I could ride a bike like Madeline. But I can jump five times with my skipping rope on one leg.”

The mother noted that the girls will have a normal life expectancy but suffer from severe scoliosis and will need spine-straightening surgery

“They have frequent tests to make sure they’re growing properly, but there’s no reason why they can’t have a long, happy life,” she explained.