Felicia Hogan kisses her six-year-old daughters Tatiana and Krista

Felicia Hogan kisses her six-year-old daughters Tatiana and Krista

Vernon twins continue to amaze

Conjoined twins Tatiana and Krista Hogan are now energetic six-year-olds



Energy immediately overwhelms a visiting reporter and photographer as they walk through the door and try to get their shoes off.

“Guess what? I got a kitty,” says Tatiana.

“I’m the funny one,” counters Krista as she sticks out her tongue.

Heading into the living room, the guests are embraced by the six-year-olds. A finger is jabbed towards Power Rangers on the TV screen.

“They are my best friends,” says Tatiana.

Tatiana and Krista Hogan are pretty much like any other Grade 1 students. They are open and friendly and always moving.

“They just keep us hopping,” said grandma Louise Mckay.

But Tatiana and Krista are set apart from other students at Okanagan Landing Elementary. They are conjoined at the head.

“The kids there are wonderful and so accepting of them. They come up and give them hugs,” said mom Felicia Hogan.

“They do look differently so we thought there would be bullying but there’s been none of that.”

As the interview continues, the girls try to get in on the act, showing off their latest Power Rangers moves. There’s also a flurry of “Guess whats.”

“You talk too much,” Felicia directs towards Tatiana and she cuddles with Shaylee, her four-year-old daughter.

“This cutie right here is my baby sister,” says Tatiana with pride.

Because of their unique situation, the girls go to Vancouver every three months for checkups. There have been seizures and in August, they developed type 1 diabetes.

“It was very scary. The sugar was so high it wasn’t registering,” said Mckay.

But the diabetes is now under control and the girls have even got used to poking their own fingers for blood.

“You want the great big needle?” Tatiana asks the photographer.

The girls’ constantly amaze loved ones and specialists.

“The things we watch them do is phenomenal. They share their sight and thoughts,” said Felicia.

“They get up and one will grab a cup and hand it to their sister and no words were ever said. For us it’s an every day thing.”

Being physically connected doesn’t slow them down. They run, kick and climb on to couches. The only obstacle is stairs.

“Just to balance to go down is scary. You’re just cringing,” said Felicia just minutes after a baby gate was latched at the top of the stairs.

The extended family of 14 is currently confined to two units of a four-plex and a new home would provide the girls with a little more space for their boundless energy.

Constantly shifting between rental suites has also possibly put stress on their medical condition.

“They get used to a home and then they have to leave it,” said Mckay.

Because of financial constraints, funds to purchase a home are being raised at gofundme.com.

Felicia admits some people may question the decision to ask the community for help for a home.

“We think of our children before anything else and their health care. Every bit of money goes into all of the kids,” said Felicia, who is also mother of 10-year-old Rosa and eight-year-old Christopher.

Even with a government subsidy, the constant trips to Vancouver are costly. A family-run delivery business hasn’t taken off as expected.

“We can’t keep up with that because we’re away a lot,” said Mckay.

A reality TV series is being pitched as a way of providing the children with the resources they need, but there are limits to what the family will do.

“We’ve had offers but they want to do their own thing. We want it to be educational and actual real life,” said Mckay.

“We want to show our family as it is and not something that’s made up.”

But despite the financial uncertainty, the primary focus is Tatiana and Krista.

Shortly after they were born, it was suggested they would never walk, talk or be able to adapt to their surroundings. Everyone has been proven wrong.

“All bets are off. The girls could live to be whatever age and do whatever,” said Mckay.

The reporter’s questions have come to an end, but a departure isn’t coming any time soon. Krista and Tatiana have wrapped themselves around the photographer and they aren’t letting go.

“We’re going to keep her,” says Tatiana.

Visit www.vernonmorningstar.com for a video featuring the twins.

 

Just Posted

North Westside residents can dispose of their unwanted bulky items between June 30 and July 14, 2021. (File photo)
North Westside residents can soon get rid of unwanted bulky items

Large household items can be disposed of at North Westside Transfer Station June 30 to July 14

Starting in 2022, the Columbia Shuswap Regional District is extending dog control to the entire Electoral Area D area. (Stock photo)
Dog control bylaw passes in Shuswap area despite ‘threatening’ emails

CSRD board extending full dog control to Electoral Area D; director calls for respectful discussion

The new Civic Memorial Park will incorporate pieces of the 80-year-old arena it replaces. (Artists rendering)
Pieces of Civic Arena reclaimed for new Vernon park

City centre space to incorporate wood from the historic arena

Fruit farmers in the Okanagan and Creston valleys are in desperate need of cherry harvesters amid COVID-19 work shortages. (Photo: Unsplash/Abigail Miller)
‘Desperate’ need for workers at Okanagan cherry farms

Fruit farmers are worried they’ll have to abandon crops due to COVID-19 work shortages

A motorycle crash has been reported on Westside Road. (Google Maps)
UPDATE: Westside Road reopened following motorcycle crash near Vernon

AIM Roads advises drivers to expect delays due to congestion

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed Eli Beauregard facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

A aerial view shows the debris going into Quesnel Lake caused by a tailings pond breach near the town of Likely, B.C., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Updated tailings code after Mount Polley an improvement: B.C. mines auditor

British Columbia’s chief auditor of mines has found changes to the province’s requirements for tailings storage facilities

A North Vancouver man was arrested Friday and three police officers were injured after a 10-person broke out at English Bay on June 19, 2021. (Youtube/Screen grab)
Man arrested, 3 police injured during 10-person brawl at Vancouver beach

The arrest was captured on video by bystanders, many of whom heckled the officers as they struggled with the handcuffed man

Patrick O’Brien, a 75-year-old fisherman, went missing near Port Angeles Thursday evening. (Courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard)
Search for lost fisherman near Victoria suspended, U.S. Coast Guard says

The 75-year-old man was reported missing Thursday evening

Most Read