Wow! Who would’ve thought?
Siamese twins Abby and Brittany Hensel became worldwide news after being born in 1990. It’s not often you hear about healthy Siamese twins being born. But 22 years later, the twins make an announcement that shocks the world.
Check out the next page to see what the twins are doing.
Abby and Brittany Hensel were born on March 7th, 1990 in Carver County, Minnesota. When the sisters were born, the doctors discovered that they were attached in an unbelievably rare way. They’re known as dicephalic paragabus twins which means they share one body.
Small chance of survival
The Hensel twins had an extremely low chance of surviving. Siamese twins are of course very rare; about 1 in 189,000 babies is a Siamese twin. And only 11% percent of this already small population is born dicephalic paragabus. The chance of Abby and Brittany being born was extremely small.
Because of their unique anatomic make-up, the twins end up in a weird situation when they get sick. Abby can only experience uncomfortableness on the left side of her body. And Brittany gets unbelievable pains on her right side. If one of the sisters has stomach pains, the other sister has the same symptoms.
The way they drive was shown on their reality show. Brittany explained that they both had to pass a driving test. “We have two driver’s licenses and when we got them, we both had to take the test – and we both passed,” she said.
Working well together
Each sister therefore controls their own half of their shared body. This means they have to work well together to be able to drive. Brittany added: “When we drive, Abby takes control of the gas and brakes. We both steer and I take control.” The sisters are confident driving because they find themselves to be good chauffeurs.
Abby on the other hand has a flashier style. “I prefer wearing colorful clothes,” Abby adds. It’s not just clothes that set their taste apart. It’s also known that Abby is the more outspoken sister.
Besides their taste in clothing and what they like to do in their free time, the twins also have other differences. For example, Brittany is afraid of heights and Abby is not. And while Brittany likes art, Abby is more interested in science.
A good friend of Abby and Brittany, Erin Junkans, told BBC about their friendship and how she protects them while on vacation. “I always want to be sure that they’re safe. I make sure people don’t take pictures and always watch out for how the twins react to how busy a place is,” Erin tells. But the twins can usually get on pretty well with the business.
Erin follows with: “If they ever get overwhelmed we just have to go somewhere else.” But she’s always surprised by their ability to get through those situations and how easily they brush it off. “They don’t let fear control their lives, and this helps fulfill the dream that their mother Patty has always had for them,” Erin says.
Their mom Patty was also interviewed by BBC. She told them honestly that she, like every other mother, just wants her kids to be happy and healthy. And she hopes they’ll be successful in whatever they choose to do. That’s why she’s curious to know what the twins plan on doing. Her, and the rest of the world too. Because many people have shown interest in the Siamese twin’s story.
Well known at a young age
The twins made a big impact with how they were born and their way of living. When Abby and Brittany were just six years old they did an interview on The Oprah Winfrey Show. Around the same time, the twins were on the cover of Life magazine.
Joined for Life
In 2002, the twins were part of a documentary called Joined For Life. The series followed the lives of numerous Siamese twins. The documentary brought about their own show called Abby & Brittany. In an interview with BBC, they discussed the show and how their lives look.