Miracle twins live out dream, meet Winter the dolphin

Clearwater, Florida -- The story of Winter the dolphin, who lost her tail, has spread from Tampa Bay around the world.

For two little boys in Ireland, Winter has been a true inspiration. Wednesday, those boys came to Clearwater Marine Aquarium to meet Winter in person.

As babies, the first word Hassan and Hussein Benhaffaf said was Winter. So the moments they spent down by the water, splashing and patting the world-famous dolphin meant so much.

"They just absolutely fell in love with her," the boys' mother Angie Benhaffaf said. "When they watched the movie in the cinema, they just said, 'Mummy, she's just like us!'"

The four-year-old boys were born in Ireland as conjoined twins.

Despite sharing one liver and one stomach, they survived an extraordinary 14-hour surgery to separate them when they were four months old.

The same American experts who broke ground designing a prosthetic tail for Winter the dolphin heard about the twins. They wanted to help. So the staff from Hanger Clinic has gone back and forth to Ireland for years to help doctors there build the perfect new legs for these boys.

Also on Wednesday, the team from Hanger delivered a new prosthetic tail for Winter. The new one is more advanced and larger, because Winter keeps growing and changing.

"They always used to ask me, 'Mummy can we go and see Winter in her home?' but I knew it was the other side of the world. We're in Ireland, this is Florida," their mother said.

"I'm shaking. I just -- I can't believe it's happened for them. This was my ultimate dream."

Hanger Clinic and several groups, including Give Kids the World, donated the money for the family to come to America and meet the dolphin who's shown them anything is possible.

"This is the stuff dreams are made of. And we're so, so grateful to be here," Angie Benhaffaf said. "Never imagined it would happen."


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