A memorial service was held yesterday for Chang Chung-jen (張忠仁), one of the first set of conjoined twins to be successfully separated in Taiwan. He died of a brain hemorrhage on Feb. 2 at age 42.
When Chang and his brother, Chang Chung-i (張忠義), were separated in 1979 after a 12-hour surgery that left each of them with one leg, it was only the fourth time that conjoined twins had been separated anywhere in the world.
Chang Chung-jen on Feb. 1 collapsed at work and died early the next morning, his family said.
A memorial concert held in his honor at the First Funeral Parlor in Taipei was attended by several political figures and celebrities, including Presidential Office Secretary-General Chen Chu (陳菊) and former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九).
Chang Chung-i said that although his brother has passed away, “his love will always be with us.”
He pledged to continue to spread that love by delivering speeches on his brother’s behalf.
“I really miss you, really miss you very much,” he said through tears.
Chang Chung-i said he could never forget when Chang Chung-jen fell on him and told him not to be afraid during the magnitude 7.6 earthquake that hit Taiwan on Sept. 21, 1999.
Chang Chung-jen loved to paint, and the brothers had intended to this year hold a painting and photography exhibition to mark the 40th anniversary of their separation, Chang Chung-i said, adding that he would work hard to fulfill their dream.
Former National Taiwan University president Chen Wei-chao (陳維昭), who oversaw the twins’ separation and was in charge of their postoperative care, said that the vitality displayed by the brothers went beyond anything he had ever imagined.
He expressed admiration for the brothers, who gave speeches around Taiwan to inspire disadvantaged people.
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