twin newborns sleeping side by side
Sarah Biren
Sarah Biren
December 20, 2023 ·  3 min read

Adorable twins with Down syndrome are 1 (or rather, 2) in a million

According to the World Health Organization, about one in 1,000 babies are born with Down syndrome in the world every year. [1] But Savannah Combs gave birth to twin daughters with Down syndrome, an insanely rare phenomenon. “It’s very rare what they have, but they’ve been my little gems,” she said.

“For every 1,000 twin pregnancies, around two will have at least one baby with Down syndrome,” said Dr. Pamela Trapane, medical director of Wolfson Children’s Hospital’s Duran Genetics Center in Jacksonville, Florida. “However, the chance prior to a pregnancy that the pregnancy will be twins and that both twins will have Down syndrome is around one in 1 to 5 million.”

Rare Twin Girls With Down Syndrome

Before the twins Mckenli and Kennadi Ackerman were born, Combs knew that at least one of them would have Down syndrome. However, she didn’t pursue a diagnostic test to confirm it after two inconclusive results. “Every [prenatal] appointment they were alive was a blessing to me,” said 23-year-old Combs. [2]

She gave birth on May 12, 2021, two months before the twins’ due date. Afterward, the babies stayed at Wolfson Children’s Hospital in Jacksonville, Florida, for approximately six weeks. Their father, Justin Ackerman, was “very emotional” about the diagnosis at first. However, the mom was “just happy they were here.”

Image Credit: Savannah Combs vis TODAY

“They’re called mono di twins, meaning that they had their own sacs, but they shared the same placenta, meaning that they were going to be identical,” said Combs. “Mo di twins as it is, it’s like very rare. And then you throw Down syndrome on top of it, it’s like one in 2 million.”

At five months, Combs said the twins are like any other babies despite their condition. “They have feelings. They have a beating heart. They know how to talk. They know how to do things you do. They will get there. Like I said, it may be a step behind but they’re going to do it. I’ve learned these kids are feisty little things and happy little things,” she said.

Read: Mom Shares Honest ‘Review’ Of Her Baby With Down’s Syndrome, And 380K People Love It

“They’re just like us”

Additionally, at eight months, the twins are “hitting milestones like no other,” according to Combs. She brings them to speech, physical, and occupational therapy twice a week, and they are just starting to crawl. Already, their personalities are shining. While Kennadi is “a ray of sunshine,” Mckenli is “a total diva.” 

Combs started posting adorable videos of the twins on her TikTok page, Down with the Ackerman Twins. She hopes to bring positive awareness to people with Down syndrome. “They’re just like us. I’m not going to treat them any differently because they have Down syndrome,” said Combs. 

Plus, the twins are hitting all of their development milestones and the family is thriving. “I’m going to let them know that they’re just like us and they’re going to get there as long as they put their minds to it,” said Combs. [3] Additionally, the young mother opens up about her experience with postpartum depression on TikTok.  

Keep Reading: Dentistry Student Shares Touching Story of Being Raised by Father with Down Syndrome


  1. “Down Syndrome: Facts, Statistics, and You.” Healthline. Jen Thomas. May 13, 2019
  2. “Adorable twins with Down syndrome are 1 (or rather, 2) in a million.Today. Genevieve Brown. January 25, 2022
  3. “‘Like one in 2 million’: Mom says rare twins with Down syndrome are ‘my little gems’.” News 4 Jax. Lena Pringle. October 27, 2021