Abby and Brittany Hensel are two sisters who were born special. They came as a surprise to their parents and the doctors who saw their mother before birth. Everyone (including the doctors) was expecting one child as the scan showed, only to be greeted by twins. Special twins. Extremely rare. They were born as dicephalic parapagus or conjoined twins. When they were born, their parents had two options: let them live or separate them and risk losing one or both of them. Obviously, they let them grow together and they have become the world’s most famous conjoined twins. Also, Abby and Brittany Hensel are one of the world’s most famous conjoined twins (still alive).
Conjoined twins are identical twins who are born with their bodies joined together especially at the utero. They are also extremely rare because according to statistics, it happens in 1 in 100,000 births, with a somewhat higher incidence in Southwest Asia and Africa. There are different types of conjoined twins and that of Abby and Brittany entails that they have two heads but are joined together in one body. What makes these subjects special is that they are symmetrical. This and the fact that they are females increased their chances of survival.
Facts About The Famous Conjoined Twins Abby and Brittany Hensel
1. Abby and Brittany Hensel are not the First of Their Kind
Although theirs seem to be the most popular story, the Hensels’ case is not the first mention of conjoined twins in the history of the world. The world has seen a couple of them, most very popular because of their rarity. The very first conjoined twins the world knew were Chang and Eng Bunker also famously known as the Siamese twins because they were from Siam (now Thailand). It was their birth and hometown that brought about the conjoined twins being called Siamese twins. They were born in 1811 and were healthy xiphopagus twins connected at the sternum.
There is also, Daisy and Violet Hilton born in 1908, Lori and George Schappell who were born in 1961 and joined at the head, Donnie and Ronnie Galyon who hold the Guinness book of record for oldest living conjoined twins, they were born in 1951 and are still alive until today. There were also other conjoined twins who lived to adulthood just like Abby and Brittany Hensel.
2. They Have Siblings
Abby and Brittany Hensel were born by Patty and Mike Hensel. Patty is a registered nurse while Mike is a carpenter and also a landscaper. They owned a farm in Minnesota when they had the twins. Abby and Brittany have a younger brother and sister, Dakota and Morgan Hensel. The occupations or any other information about their siblings are not available at this time.
3. There Have Been Rumors About Their Love Life
A lot of people have asked questions about the sexual and relationship lives of these conjoined twins. There were once rumors that one of the twins was in a relationship but nothing was found to substantiate the speculations. In addition to this, the twins are scrupulously secretive about their relationships, they also keep it away from their mother. However, at this time, they remain officially single and unhitched even though they have dreams of one day settling down and having a family.
4. They Share 3 Kidneys
Abby and Brittany Hensel were born dicephalic twins – with two heads and one body joined from the shoulder blades to the pelvis. They have two hearts, four lungs, three kidneys, two spines, two breasts, two stomachs, two gallbladders, two arms, two limbs, and some other shared organs.
The balance between their conjoined bodies has given them a fighting and surviving chance in life. They once had a third arm that grew at the back, but it was quickly removed. Their chest cavity was also enlarged to prevent any breathing issues as they grew. The twins are healthy until this day and lead normal lives.
5. Their body measurements vary slightly
While Abby is 5 feet 2 inches tall, Brittany is 4 feet 10 inches. Brittany stopped growing at this height and to prevent problems while walking or running, doctors had to stop Abby’s growth too. Brittany walks on her toes to be able to level up to her sister. Also, while Abby’s head tilts about 5 degrees to the right, Brittany’s tilts 15 degrees. This makes Brittany’s neck 2 inches shorter than Abby’s.
6. Their Personalities and Mannerisms Differ
One astonishing fact about the twins is that they are both different people. They have their individual personalities, mannerisms, and preferences like every other person. According to the much that has been documented about the twins, it has been discovered that while Brittany is quiet, reserved and easy-going, Abby is more of the bossy type, demanding and ludicrous.
Abby hates the noise of city life while Brittany fancies it a lot. Abby does well in subjects like mathematics while Brittany is good at writing, however, they help each other whenever they get stuck in any subject. They have different tastes and reactions to foods, drinks, ailments, etc.
7. They Have Made Various Media Appearances
The lives of Abby and Brittany Hensel became of interest to the world soon after they were born. They were interviewed several times in their early years. At the age of six, Abby and Brittany appeared on the Oprah Winfrey show and also on Life Magazine. Years later, TLC began a documentary based on their teenage life and experiences.
They have also been covered by Discovery Health Channels, BBC, Extraordinary People and so on. In August 2012, the twins started their own TV show, Abby & Brittany. Sources say that media exposure has brought a net worth of $700,000.