SCRIPPS RANCH — Yesterday a doctor from Poway Medical Center successfully performed a risky, yet necessary operation to separate two conjoined houses in Scripps Ranch.
The two families living in the homes, the Joneses and the Westons, were fed up with being attached to each other, and agreed to the surgery despite knowing that one, or even both of the houses could collapse if the procedure wasn’t flawless.
Conjoined houses (also known as duplex syndrome) are a rare unfortunate phenomenon that occurs when two houses, which are meant to be free standing, are joined by a common wall upon construction. Statistics show approximately .001% of all homes are constructed with this tragic condition. Scientists haven’t pinpointed exactly what causes this deformity, but one popular theory is that chances are significantly increased when home builders do hard drugs (such as meth and cocaine).
Families who have to live in conjoined houses often lose basic freedoms that most of us neglect — such as the ability to paint our home’s exterior, throw parties that last beyond 10:00pm, or have a yard sale without it being really awkward. These are just a few of the reasons why the Joneses and the Westons hired Dr. Kevin Durgan to perform the reverse-duplexectomy.
“After their kid started playing drums, we knew this had to be done,” said Nathan Jones, head of the Jones household.
Luckily for the two families, the procedure went smoothly. When a different doctor attempted the same type of operation on a duplex in Temecula three years ago, both houses came crumbling down after an incorrect chimney incision. The incident wasn’t reported in any newspaper because it happened in Temecula.