Abigail and Brittany Hensel – The remarkable Conjoined Twins

March 29, 2014 | 0

Abigail and Brittany Hensel are dicephalic parapagus twins, which means they are conjoined twins. Each of them as a separate head, heart, stomach, spinal cord, and spine. Each twin controls half of the body operating one arm and one leg. These twins from Minnesota have had many struggles in their lives. When they were born, the doctors told the parents they would not survive for long but now they are over 23 years and have featured in the show titled ‘Abby and Brittany’ which tries to put forward the kind of life these twins live.

A day for them may seem typical but it has its own set of challenges. Since they were born on March 7, 1990 at Carver County, Minnesota , they have gone through thick and thin right from learning how to crawl and walk to their adult life. As infants, the initial learning process was difficult because they had to learn together on how to coordinate the body.

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Although each of them would eat and write separately, some activities required coordination and alternate symmetrical actions such as running and swimming. The Hensel twins did not receive much attention until their adulthood when they began featuring in different shows. At 16 years, they gave an interview on December 17, 2006 on the Learning Channel, and discussed things about their daily lives and what plans they had for the future.

The twins also starred their own reality show on TLC, the Abby & Brittany show. Abby and Brittany are among the rarest dicephalus twins, and it is very rare to survive when born in such a condition. It is a miracle that Hensel twins survived. The twins have partially shared nervous system and circulatory system.

From their waist down, they have shared organs such as the bladder, intestines, and the reproductive system. Despite the fact that they can only feel their half of body, they share and do things together such as typing, playing piano, riding a bicycle, bowling, and playing volleyball. The twins were actually born with three arms and one was surgically removed at birth.

At 6 years old, they appeared in the famous Oprah Winfrey show as well as on the cover of Life magazine, before they stayed out of the media scene for close to over 10 years, until they featured in the TLC documentary at 16 years. When they were born, the parents never thought of having them separated because it could risk the death of one of them or cause some permanent disability like physically handicapped for the rest of their life. While they have individual organs in the upper part of their body, the area at the navel and the organs below are shared, with the exception of the spinal cord.

This meant that such a separation was not an option for the parents. The parents have had to struggle to help their daughters cope with the condition. It has been a challenge to encourage the twins develops individual personalities. The twins are two individuals who eat and sleep at different times, but they have learned to coordinate things together and work as single body. Their clothes have to be made in special order because they have 2 necklines. In order to showcase their different styles and tastes, the clothes are designed with different leggings in color and design. In addition, they wear different shoes for the same reason.

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Abigail and Brittany Hensel – Pictures

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