Abigail Loraine Hensel and Brittany Lee Hensel were born on born March 7, in the year 1990 and are conjoined twins (also called dicephalic parapagus twins). Both of them have a separate head but their bodies are joined. Even though most of the conjoined twins look like they are a single body, but these twins are too symmetrical making them look like a perfect single body not much different from the normal body proportion. Several of their vital organs are doubled up and they have a different stomach, heart, and spine. Their chest is wider than that of the normal size. There was an undeveloped arm they had at birth attached to their shoulder blade. The arm was removed later.
When the twins were born their parents did not want them to go through a surgery as the doctors were of the opinion that chances are only one of them would survive. Their decision kept getting firmer with time as twins were growing up together developing desired skills and doing necessary activities by cooperating with each other. The parents also felt that if the twins are separated it could hamper their quality of life.
Each of them has the command over half of their body and they operate one arm and one leg each. During their initial years their physical learning for activities such as clapping, walking, crawling etc was possible because of their cooperation as they could eat or write separately but other major physical activities had to be coordinated symmetrically. Until their adulthood they didn’t receive much media attention. When the twins were 16 they were interviewed by the learning channel. The interview focused on their routine life activities and future plans. In 2012 they appeared in their own reality show called Abby & Brittany reality series on TLC in 2012. They also appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show in the year 1996. The twins appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show on April 8 and April 29, 1996. In the same year they were the cover feature of Life titled “One Body, Two Souls”. The story was about their routine lifestyle.
The twins have successfully got their driver’s license by passing the essential tests but had to take it two times, one for each. Abigail takes care of the things at the left during driving whereas Brittany controls the devices at the right. They graduated high school in 2008 and started with college in Minnesota at Bethel University in not the same concentrations. In 2012 they graduated in the bachelors of Arts degree. As individuals they have differences in choices such as in clothing, food, etc. They also eat separate times but also share whenever desired. Brittany is a good writer, whereas Abigail is good at math. The twins dislike being stared at by strangers. They also don’t like it when people want to take their photograph. In an interview they expressed their desire to get married and have children. There has been much concern regarding their health as not many conjoined twins have survived for long and most of them die because of cardio vascular issues or organ failures. But such conditions haven’t been shown yet in their case.
Abigail & Brittany Hensel – Pictures