Thursday, April 14, 2011

Rudy Santos' Twin

Would you chop off one of your arms?
Would you chop off your legs?
What about an ear – would you chop off an ear? 
Van Gogh did – but would you?
What about your brother’s leg? 
Would you chop that off?

These are questions Rudy Santos
had to consider.
Rudy Santos was born in the Philippines.

Rudy has four arms and three legs. 
One of his “own” legs stops at his knee,
forcing him to walk with a crutch. 

During the 1970s and 80s,
Rudy was known as Octoman. 
He was famous and travelled
with a Freak Show. 
This is where he met his wife. 
By the late 80s, Rudy and his wife
moved away to live a private life.

Rudy’s condition is known as a parasitic twin.
Since birth, Rudy’s twin has
been growing from his stomach. 
He’s been carrying him around all his life.

Rudy’s body was failing
under the pressure of his twin. 
His back was curving under the extra weight. 
His heart was suffering
and Rudy was finding it difficult
to keep his body nourished.

When the doctors told Rudy
they could cut the twin off…
Rudy walked away.

He walked away from surgery.
He couldn’t kill his twin.
I don’t know what decision I would make
 if I was placed in his position.

I’ve spent a lot of time trawling the Internet
trying to find more information about Rudy.
There’s almost no information about him.
I can’t help but wonder whether he is still alive
as his body was failing a couple of years ago.
If he’s alive… I wish him well.

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