PARENTS OF FOUR-YEAR-OLD CONJOINED TWINS SPEAK
-- IN A ONE-ON-ONE TO DEBORAH ROBERTS --
FOR FIRST TIME SINCE SUCESSFUL GROUNDBREAKING SURGERY EARLIER THIS WEEK
ON �20/20,� AIRING FRIDAY, AUGUST 11
A Real Life �Catch Me If You Can� � Man Claiming to be
a Naval Officer � Dupes Numerous Women, Several Speak Exclusively to Don Dahler;
John Stossel�s �Give Me A Break�
Just a few days ago surgeons at Primary Children�s Medical Center in Salt Lake City performed a groundbreaking surgery that made national headlines � the separation of four-year-old conjoined twin girls Kendra and Maliyah Herrin. The girls� parents talk about the successful 26-hour marathon surgery in the first one-on-one television interview with ABC News Correspondent Deborah Roberts. �20/20� also has the first footage of the recuperating girls post-op. �20/20� airs on Friday, August 11
(10:00-11:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network.
Kendra and Maliyah, born prematurely, have already beaten the odds, surviving and thriving for more than four years. They were born fused from the abdomen down, sharing one kidney and two legs. The surgical team of 11 had to divide and then reconstruct the twins� lower body including their large intestines and bladders. Roberts also speaks to members of the operating team about the difficult surgery, including Dr. Rebecka Meyers, head the surgical team
�20/20� also looks at another complication � Maliyah and Kendra are older than most twins who are separated, therefore they had to be prepared mentally for the difficult and painful surgery. Parents Jake and Erin say they told the girls everything their four year old minds could absorb about the process.
Also: At first glance, Eric Cooper appeared to be a dashing man in uniform who had his way with women. He claimed to be a Naval officer and fighter pilot with a business degree and big plans for their futures. In fact over a 10 year period, 10 women were married or engaged to him, each oblivious to his past relationships. These women say they found his charms and uniform irresistible, although they soon discovered their knight�s armor was tarnished. �My family and I started finding out things about him that didn�t add up and red flags were flying everywhere,� says his former fianc�e Brandy Lloyd. Was Lt. Eric Cooper really a Navy SEAL, JAG officer, F-14 pilot, and holder of an MBA as he claimed�or was he something�and someone�else?
When �20/20� first reported this story in May 2005, Cooper disappeared just before he was to be interviewed for the program. Just this week, Cooper, who was convicted last year of bigamy, was sentenced to 15 years in prison after pleading guilty to signing his name to one wife's car title without permission and forging her father's name on the document. In an exclusive interview with ABC News, he admits to using aliases, stealing from the women, tampering with a government document and posing as a military officer.
Eric Cooper: �OK, I just swept in like the knight in shining armor on the horse, and the whole nine yards and blah, blah, blah, I�m going to save the universe�that�s how it came out, that I posed as a naval officer.�
Don Dahler: �Do you think it was wrong?�
Eric Cooper: �Yes, I think it�s wrong.�
Don Dahler: �We�re at war. There are men and women dying right now in uniform and you�re back here passing yourself off as one of them.�
Eric Cooper: �I apologize� if that dishonors the men and women in uniform. I apologize.�
And: John Stossel�s �Give Me A Break� -- How many summer pleasures like diving boards and swimming holes have we as a society lost because people are afraid of being sued? Stossel reports that many kids may fall and hurt themselves swimming or climbing trees, but questions if we are happier� or safer living in a society where they are not even given the chance to try.
�20/20� is anchored by Elizabeth Vargas and John Stossel. David Sloan is the executive producer.