Maria Clara and Maria Eduarda Oliveira Santana were born conjoined three months ago. They live in Brazil and are awaiting a tricky operation to separate their torsos. While awaiting surgery, the Santana family is living at the Casa do Interior de Goiás, a center that provides food and housing to patients and their families.
It was in early August 2015 that photographer Mateus André approached the family and asked if he could photograph the twins. André told The Huffington Post that the family is “very poor” and “going through a lot of problems.”
“The girls’ condition is not easy, the place is poor, and they need and will need many donations,” André said. “In spite of all difficulties they face, the family can be hopeful with the awaited surgery, and they really believe in a better future.”
Even though the medical staff is optimistic about the outcome of the separation operation, Maria Clara and Maria Eduarda share a liver, which poses a risk.
The reason André took on the photography project, he says, is to bring awareness to children with physical and intellectual disabilities. He also wanted to let the Santana family know that they are not alone and they are not insignificant. He hopes to stay in touch with the Santana family after the operation and possibly to document the progress of these two beautiful miracle girls.