Conjoined Twins: Nolan

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Conjoined Twins: Nolan Gender: F
Alyssa Grace and Bethany Rose
born on 3 May 2001 at 09:43 (= 09:43 AM )
Place Brisbane, Australia, 27s28, 153e02
Timezone AEST h10e (is standard time)
Data source
From memory
Rodden Rating A
Collector: Scholfield
Astrology data s_su.18.gif s_taucol.18.gif 12°37' s_mo.18.gif s_vircol.18.gif 12°44 Asc.s_gemcol.18.gif 27°00'


Australian craniopagic twin sisters, Alyssa Grace and Bethany Rose, born joined at the side near the top part of their heads at the parietal bone, by skin, bone and brain tissue, they faced in the same direction. After a pregnancy that had gone full term, beyond 37 weeks gestation, they were delivered by a "classical caesarian section" with a vertical incision that provided a larger hole than the more conventional transverse cut. There were no complications during the surgery that took about an hour.

Shawn Nolan, 34, who won the Queensland Salesman of the Year award, and his wife, Mary, 28, a geriatric nurse, were from the northern Brisbane suburbs and already had three young sons. The girls were born healthy with heaps of ginger-red hair, the same as their dad, also a redhead. He said that "One’s cranky and one’s placid. They are absolutely glorious, healthy and happy. Mum’s healthy and she is happy. We are very proud parents." The girls underwent many weeks and months of tests to determine the significance of their join before it was decided they would be separated. Alyssa was born with only one kidney while Bethany had no kidneys, no bladder and a clubfoot that may have indicated brain damage.

Craniopagic twins are extremely rare (occurring once in every 150,000 to 200,000 births) and yet Brisbane had two sets born here from local families in just over a year. (The other pair, Tay-lah and Monique Armstrong were born joined at the back of the head (facing away from each other) in the same hospital on 3 April 2000 and were separated successfully in October 2000, although Tay-Lah remained quite ill.)

On 1 June 2001, doctors were forced to attempt a separation of the twins after Bethany's health deteriorated rapidly. Her medical team believed that without intervention, she would die. The surgery was performed the following day, and 16 hours into the 20-hour operation, twin Bethany Rose died. Surviving twin Alyssa Grace was in a critical but stable condition. On 5 June 2001, Alyssa was removed from the critical list and was doing very well considering the severity of the surgery.

Royal Children's Hospital district manager said the next 14 days were critical for Alyssa, who would need a bone graft at the site where the twins had been joined.

Australian media reported in November 2009 about Alyssa Nolan that she had 40 operations to correct problems since her separation, had epilepsy, recurring kidney problems and some developmental delays, and would need more surgery. Her mother was quoted with saying, "But on the outside, to look at her she's just a very outgoing, very bright - socially, anyway - very talkative, bossy, beautiful eight-year-old girl. She's certainly the diva of the family."

In 2021, the bright and bubbly Alyssa, aged 20, who has a mild intellectual disability, started an apprenticeship as a hairdresser in Brisbane.

Link to Wikipedia biography


  • Health : Medical procedure 2 June 2001 (Separation surgery)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Death of Sibling 2 June 2001 (Bethany died that night, 30 days old)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.

Source Notes

Sy Scholfield quotes date and place from various local news reports, time of 09:43 shown on the clock during the delivery of the twins, screened on television show ["The Nolan Twins," produced by Peter Wilkinson. (Sixty Minutes (Australia), 13 May 2001.)

(Originally, 9:45 am was given in a newspaper article, "Second Set of Siamese Twins Born," by Geoffrey Newman in The Australian, 5/04/2001, p. 5.)


  • Family : Childhood : Order of birth (Fourth and fifth of five)
  • Personal : Birth : Cesarean (Full-term)
  • Personal : Birth : Conjoined twins
  • Personal : Birth : Defects, Handicaps (Kidney, bladder, clubfoot)