Make your own free website on Tripod.com

'+textdescription+'') jkpopwin.document.close() jkpopwin.focus() } Lucio and Simplicio Godina Simplicio and Lucio Godina (or Godino) were pygopagus twin brothers born on the island of Samar in the Philippine Islands on March 8, 1908. Male pygopagus twins are extremely rare; most are stillborn or die at birth, and there are only a few cases of live-born male pygopagus twins on record. The Godina brothers were joined only by skin and cartilage at the buttocks and shared no pelvic bone or spinal tissue; in fact their join was so flexible that one could lie down while the other stood. The twins travelled to the United States as children and began working on the sideshow circuit. While they were working at Coney Island at age 11, the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children complained that the twins had no official guardian, so they were adopted by Teodor Yangeo, a wealthy Filipino who was travelling in the United States. From this point on, the twins received an excellent education and became involved in several sports including swimming, tennis and golf.

While driving their car in Manila, their foster father's hometown, Lucio hit a cart, injuring the driver. He is said to have been drinking. He was sentenced to five days in jail, but dodged the sentence on the grounds that innocent Simplicio would also be imprisoned. Their legal troubles were the inspiration for the Hilton sisters' movie Chained for Life, in which one sister kills the other's husband and both must stand trial.

In 1928 the Godinos fell in love with identical twin sisters, Natividad and Victorina Matos. As was typical with conjoined-twin romances, the Godinos were at first denied the right to marry their sweethearts, the clerk claiming that they were technically one person. On appeal, however, they were granted a license and married the Matos sisters in an extravagant public wedding in Manila. The two couples then set sail for the United States, where they were scheduled to appear in vaudeville. The Godinos were excellent dancers and roller skaters and had no trouble incorporating their lovely dancing brides in their act. They denied financial help from their millionaire foster father as well, wanting instead to support themselves and their wives on their showbusiness earnings.

It seemed that the Godinos had a good chance of leading long and successful lives, but in 1936, while appearing in New York City, Lucio developed pneumonia. During Lucio's sickness, Simplicio, who felt fine, complained about being bed-ridden. It was believed at first that Lucio would survive, but he died unexpectedly on November 24, 1936. An emergency operation to separate the brothers was performed by a Dr. E.H. Wertheim. Simplicio is said to have taken his brother's death with stoicism and the newspapers reported the surgery as a triumph, giving a new lease on life to a man who, in previous years, would have been doomed to die along with his twin. Sadly, the operation was not as successful as it initially appeared, and Simplicio died on December 8, 12 days later, from cerebro-spinal meninigitis.