Gentri surprises formerly conjoined twins for birthday celebration

LAYTON, Utah (ABC4 News) – Separated conjoined twins Ashley and Patricia Barson grew up to be super Gentri fans. For their 35th birthday, the two got the surprise of a lifetime when the famous trio showed up at their house for a private concert.

Planned during a “fake” retirement party for their father, the music group, based out of Salt Lake City, showed up at their Layton doorstep and made their way out the back door where they harmonized their introduction.

The twins were more than surprised to see the singers and elated at the special concert held in their honor. Even better, the got a chance to share the experience with their parents, family and friends.

Ashley and Patricia miraculous story started at birth. They were born conjoined vertically at the head. Craniopagus twins joined at the head are an uncommon malformation found once in 2.5 million live births.

The girls had the rarest form of total vertical craniopagus twinning. Approximately 40% of conjoined twins are stillborn and an additional one third die within 24 hours, usually from congenital organ anomalies, leaving only 25% to be considered for surgical separation.

Ashley and Patricia were only the second surgically separated cases to survive. The first case was Lisa and Elise Hansen who were also separated at the University of Utah hospital five years earlier.

Their parents, Aaron and Kathie Barson lived in California at the time she became pregnant with the twins, along with their four children.

The women were born March 9, 1984 at Loma Linda Medical Center in California. They were then flown to the University of Utah and on September 13, 1984 the 32 hour final separation surgery began.

“It is difficult to sum up the lifetime of experiences that the girls have had,” said Aaron Barson. “They were raised in a loving family with a great deal of support from family, friends and church members.”

They were released from the hospital after more than two years in the Neurological Intensive Care Unit at the University of Utah.

“They both continue to do well and have grown and developed into wonderful, kind and caring individuals, mostly as a result of their ever-present angel mother,” said Aaron Barson. “Not long after they were born it was revealed to me that they would be a great source of love in the world. Time has born that out and they seem to have friends wherever they go.”

The girls graduated from the Northridge High School and have both worked at Hill Air Force Base where Patricia remains employed. Ashley now works at Lagoon.

Patricia won the “Outstanding Department of Defense Employee with a Handicap” in 2015 and was flown to Washington DC where she received the award from the under Secretary of Defense.

Aaron Barson said Ashley and Patricia love to sing and have taken music lessons for 14 years. They also enjoy painting, keeping up-to-date with everyone on Facebook and knitting hats they donate to Primary’s Children Hospital.

“They are a blessing to their family and the world by their example of
persistence in adversity and their loving and caring nature,” said Aaron Barson.

The concert was made possible by Genti through their community outreach program “Lift Where You Live” where they serve fans in need in their community.

For more information about Gentri and their program:
Instagram/Facebook/Twitter: @GENTRImusic

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