Two young Irish boys lived a dream this week when they got to meet Winter the Dolphin.
Hassan and Hussein Benhaffaf, 4-year-old twins born conjoined from the chest to the pelvis, were separated when they were 4-months-old.
Each boy was left with only one leg and one kidney. They have wanted to meet Winter since watching the Dolphin Tale movie.
“When they watched the movie in the cinema, I remember them saying, ‘Mummy, Winter’s just like us, and it really touched my heart.
And I remember thinking at the time, wouldn’t it be amazing if we could get them there.”
And here they are, not only meeting Winter, but getting to touch her, stroke her, and look her in the eye. Their mother says this is a dream come true for the little boys who weren’t expected to live. Conjoined at birth, they shared everything but a heart, and were separated at four months.
“They also were left with one leg each, and half a pelvis,” said Benhaffaf .
The boys are visiting Tampa to be fitted for prosthetic legs by the same men who invented Winter’s remarkable tail, Dan Strempka and Kevin Carroll of Hangar Prosthetics.
“They’ve constantly talked about coming to visit Winter, so it all happened today,” said Carroll. “We’re very glad to be here and see it firsthand.”
For kids who still face more surgeries, and more challenges, Winter will continue to inspire them.
“I always call my boys, my little ‘million-to-one miracles,’ and this is our one-in-a-million dream,” Benhaffaf said.