A pair of identical twins had the same appendix operations just days apart in the latest in a string of spooky sibling similarities.
John and Chris Atkin, 35, who are both dads-of-three, first noticed an incredible bond when they were kids when John broke his leg and Chris’s leg swelled up in the same spot in eerie sympathy - confusing doctors who almost treated the wrong twin.
A year later Chris screamed in pain seconds before John put his foot through a window - even though they were in different parts of their house at the time.
Now, just hours after John was struck down by appendicitis, he was amazed to see his brother waiting for him when he got back from the doctors to drive him to hospital even though he wasn’t told there was a problem.
Amazingly, a week after his operation, Chris began suffering from the same symptoms and was diagnosed with an identical complaint.John, who works as a carer, said: “Two weeks ago I went to the the doctors with
a pain in my side, but the next day I woke up pouring with sweat and doubled up in agony with excruciating pain in my side.
“I went to the doctors again, was diagnosed with appendicitis and told to prepare for an operation, so I popped back home with my partner Emma. Imagine
my surprise when I saw Chris waiting outside my house with his wife Rebecca. No-one had told him anything was wrong with me.
“We just seem to have a happy knack of being in the right place at the right time for each other, and he drove me to hospital.
“I had surgery and was soon back home, but I’d only been home a few minutes when Rebecca rang and said ‘you’re not going to believe this, Chris had been suffering exactly the same symptoms as you and is in hospital to have his appendix taken out’.
“It’s another thing that we have in common, but for us both to have exactly the same problem exactly a week apart is amazing. For a couple of days, for the first time in our lives were weren’t identical because one of us had no appendix but we are again now.”
Chris, who runs a salon, said: “We are very, very close, see each other a lot and speak at least once a day. It’s hard to explain but I just knew I had better go round to his house.
“I was shocked to end up in hospital a week later with the same thing although strange things have happened to us before that our family have seen.
“We first noticed when John broke his leg when he was five. Within days I had a problem with my same leg as if I felt his pain. It swelled up and was bruised in the same place.
“We all went to the hospital with John but a doctor came over to me, took one look at my leg and said ‘yes, that’s definitely broken’. My mum replied ‘I hope
not you’ve got the wrong twin’.
“We also had growing pains together as teenagers. It’s all the more amazing that we have both ended up in hospital having operations within days of each
other because we are normally fit and well.”
John added: “About a year after my leg break I had been naughty and had been sent to my upstairs bedroom. One of our sisters called to me from outside to come out, so in the daft way that kids do I tried climbing out of the window.
“My parents later said they heard Chris scream a few seconds before I put my foot through the window. I had no idea he had done it because I was more worried about my leg, but he had no idea what I was about to do because he was downstairs.
“When we were younger, we always seemed to know exactly what the other one was going to say. Now we are adults I know he is going to ring me just before he does and he says the same.”
Baffled school teachers asked the twins’ parents John and Irene to stitch their first initial on their school jumpers but the mischievous brothers would swap jumpers and switch classes without anyone noticing.
Their lives have also followed near identical paths. They both left school and joined the Army at 16 although John soon dropped out. They both have two
daughters and one son - Chris has Lily, 11, ten-year-old Gage and Indigo,
eight. John’s children are Thaianda, 11, seven-year-old Faith and baby Noah who is three-months-old.
Chris added: “Our parents just cant get over this. I do believe in extra-sensory perception and telepathy. John and I have always had this strange connection.
“We are mirror image twins meaning I’m right handed and he’s left handed. We came from the same egg and share the same DNA so we were always bound to have things in common, maybe just not to this extent.”