12/27/2004 at 01:00 AM EST
Four months after the last of four operations to separate conjoined Filipino twins Carl (right) and Clarence Aguirre, the boys are thriving, with no sign of neurological damage. "They have made incredible progress," says Dr. David Staffenberg, one of their surgeons at the Children's Hospital at Montefiore Medical Center in The Bronx. The 2½-year-olds will undergo many reconstructive surgeries and intense physical and speech therapy, but, says Staffenberg, "since day one we have had the same hope for them: to become independent, fully functional boys. We have not had to change that hope."