Former conjoined twin brothers from Phoenix are more active than ever

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by Yetta Gibson

azfamily.com

Posted on June 27, 2012 at 12:08 PM

Updated Saturday, Oct 12 at 11:10 PM

PHOENIX -- Nathan and Patrick aren't just any toddlers, these boys made national headlines in 2008, believed to have been the first live conjoined twins born at Banner Good Samaritan Hospital in the last 20 or so years.

They were connected at the abdomen, separated when they were only 5 months old. It's been nearly four years since then, and they've endured several surgeries and overcome many obstacles.

"We recognize their disabilities, but we don't treat them any other way," said their mom, Dana. "We have the same expectations as we would any toddler little boys. They are limitless."

Nathan and Patrick are just as active as any kids their age. They are swimming, in some cases, better than most 4-year-olds.

"Living in Arizona and reading the stories we read every day we knew our kids would be in swim lessons," Dana said.

Bob Hubbard, of Hubbard Family Swim School, has taught kids with all types of disabilities. He along with his wife started their school in 1998.

"We have a number of autistic children who have done excellent in our program," Hubbard said. "We have a young man who is here who is deaf, blind and is unable to use his limbs at all except in the water."

Hubbard's even started a documentary showcasing some of these kids who have conquered the water, no matter their issues.

According to the Phoenix Fire Department, the number of water-related incidents and drownings in Phoenix went up from 71 in 2010 to 86 in 2011. Those statistics don't discriminate based on disability or excuses.

"I really hope it encourages people whether your children have disabilities or not to see what your kids can do in the water and give them the opportunity to have fun and be safe at the same time," Dana said.

Hubbard said research shows that when parents put their kids in swim classes, they become more educated and make better decisions when it comes to their kids and water safety.

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