Abby and Brittany, Joined for Life!


| 4 Comments

So, like hopefully many others of you do, I receive care packages from my mom quite a bit. Being a freshman, I had no idea how much stuff I would need and am always calling home for her to send me this or that. My mom is also so great, sending me some of my favorite snacks and guilty pleasure, one of them being In Touch magazine. Opening up last's week's issue I expected to read about the ups and downs of the Kardashian clan, the struggles of Bachelorette Emily, and how what happened in Vegas didn't stay in Vegas for Prince Harry. I most definitely wasn't expecting what I got: an article about the conjoined twins Abby and Brittany Hensel.

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Yes, that's Abby and Brittany, conjoined twins who share one body. Now I probably know what you're all thinking, because I was thinking the same thing: HOLY CRAP. Even though these twins have made appearances on shows like Oprah and now have their own show on TLC, I have never heard of them before and couldn't believe it.

 

They're 22 years old, hold college degrees, and each of them has a valid drivers license. As talked about in the article and on their new TV show, the girls have two totally different personalities, and aspire to one day teach, marry, and have children of their own. Wondering if that's even possible? Yes, they say, but to satisfy anyone's curiosities, here's a breakdown of their body:

 


-            2 hearts

-            4 lungs

-            1 large intestine

-            1 set of reproductive organs

-            1 bladder

-            2 gallbladders

-            1 liver

-            2 stomachs


For those who are more visual learners, picture it like this: The girls have separate heads, but after that their body funnels down in essentially a V-shape. They have 2 of everything from they're stomach's upwards but after that, they share it all.

Abby-and-Brittany-Hensel.jpg

 

The major question I asked myself when I first read about them was, how can two people conjoined like this ever survive?? The answer is 999,999 times out of 1,000,000, they don't. Abby and Brittany are essentially a miracle, one set of twins out of four who have ever survived into adulthood. Most of the time, the twins die as infants, or run into heart or organ problems. Abby and Brittany have beaten the odds, not only surviving to 22, but also living in great health.

 

Some more incredible facts about Abby and Brittany include:

1.     Each twin operates one side of the body, needing them to move in synch in order to walk, run, or swim.

2.     They were born with a third arm that was attached to their back, however at birth it was removed, leaving a central shoulder blade in place.

3.     In operating a car, Abby (the right side twin) operates the pedals and all switches on the right side, while Brittany operates the turn signals and lights, while each uses one hand on the steering wheel.

4.     Abby's head naturally is tiled 5 degrees to the right, while Brittany's is tilted 15 degrees to the left; because of the way their necks protrude from their shared body.

 

If that's not enough to satisfy your curiosity (I know it doesn't satisfy mine!) tune in to Abby and Brittany's TLC series Abby & Brittany, on Tuesday's at 10 PM.


4 Comments

Oh my god this is ridiculous. I've never heard of these girls ever in my life. That's a miracle and so fantastic that they've made it this far in life and have an inspiring story to tell others. A little weird but definitely inspiring. I wonder if the two will ever decide to separate or if the could separate, will they? OKay just looked up that they can't ever separate which makes complete sense now, since they both share important organs it'd be impossible to remove each other. I found it incredible that they can drive a car and type on the computer together without even talking. I wonder then if their brains are connected, like if they are telepathic? That's something to look into. This was really fascinating to read and I'm glad I came upon it.

This is incredible! It is hard to comprehend how they can walk and function let alone drive a car while each of them can only control their own side. But what's even more impressive is how they would have to get along socially. Could they ever date or marry? Would it be the same guy? Do they ever fight? Do they get paid as two separate people at work? There are so many questions I want answers to! I have never been a TLC fan but this may be worth watching! Curious about their situation I looked up some other conjoined twins! To my surprise many of them had an open and successful love lives!

I have heard about these girls and had so many questions too! I actually know a friend of theirs and I am totally amazed by them. I agree that they are definitely a miracle! I have questions that most would like how they date and have sex? You said they have one set of reproductive organs. If one chooses to have sex aren't they forcing the other one to have sex too? Wouldn't it be having sex with two girls at once? What about pregnancy? And how do they live without EVER having any sort of privacy. Since they share a body, it's like they are sharing a life but they have two different brains, with different personalities. I can't imagine having another brain control my body. I wonder how long they will live and what health problems they will come across later in life. I am so fascinated with this and did some research of my own and found this article that asks a lot of the same questions I have!
http://gawker.com/5933247/two-heads-one-body-a-billion-questions-the-gawker-guide-to-tlcs-newest-stars-abby--brittany-hensel

I was hoping someone would blog on this topic! Thought I've never seen the show myself, I have seen commercials for it and have some friends who are obsessed with Abby and Brittany.

This reminds me of an article I saw in People magazine (just like you, I got a care package from my mom filled with many of guilty pleasures). The article talks about Josie and Teresa, conjoined twins attached at the head who were successfully separated. Here is the link to the article in case you're curious. http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20633356,00.html

The girls were flown to the United States to have the procedure done, but when they returned to their native Guatemala, Teresa got a brain infection and Josie had seizures as a result of the surgery. Their parents could not afford to give the girls the type of proper care that they needed, so they were given up for adoption to two American families who had the financial means to care for them. The girls apparently are very close and see each other at least once a week.

The surgery took 23 hours to complete. I assumed that they were able to do the surgery on these girls because they didn't share as many vital organs Abby and Brittany.

I wonder if Abby and Brittany will actually be able to have children. How does that work? Which DNA would the children get? (Probably a dumb question, but I'm not sure how that would all work out...)

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