Abby and Brittany Hensel are conjoined twins. The two became household names after they let the media into their unique lives for a program on TLC. The twin sisters share the same body but have several organs that are different. They do not share a heart, stomach, spins, lungs or spinal cord.
Conjoined twins are quite rare and that is the reason Abby and Brittany’s story has become so popular. The two have been featured in programs on several media outlets and the world is fascinated with these unusual sisters. Here are some interesting things you may not know about the Hensel twins:
Abby and Brittany are one of the rarest sets of conjoined twins. Conjoined twins usually occurs once in every 200,000 births and the survival rate is very low. The fact that these two sisters are still alive today is a miracle.
Each twin controls half of their body. Each twin is able to operate one arm and one leg, whichever is on their half of the body. Each one can write on their own, but some activities like running or swimming take the coordination of the two.
The twins both have their own drivers license. They had to take the test twice, once for each of them. While they are driving Abby must control everything on the right and Brittany controls everything on the left.
The two girls have very different personalities and interests. Abby loves math while Brittany loves to write.
Two two have said that they don’t really mind being conjoined twins. The only thing that bothers them is when they get stared at by strangers or when random people want to get pictures with them.
The twins become known around the world when they were 6 years old. The twins appeared on‘The Oprah Winfrey Show’ and were also on the cover of Life magazine.
The twins at first wanted to pursue different concentrations while they were in college. They ended up attending Bethel University and both majored in education. The twin graduated in 2012 with Bachelor of Arts degrees.
Even though they share the same body, the twins have always been treated as separate identities. Two pair even buys separate tickets whenever they go to the movies.
The two don’t both get sick at the same time. Brittany has previously had pneumonia but Abby was not affected by the illness at all.
There are only four sets of conjoined twins known to have shared an undivided torso and two legs and survived into adulthood. Many twins like Abby and Brittany have congenital heart defects or organ anomalies. Thankfully Abby and Brittany have not been affected by these issues.
Abby and brittany have different styles so the clothes that they wear express that. They sometimes wear two different shoes or have leggings with a different color on each leg.
The two walk differently. Abby keeps her feet planted on the ground while Brittany tends to walk on her tippy toes.
Their parents were given the option to surgically separate the twins when they were young but they decided not to because it was likely they would both die during surgery.
The twins were born with another arm between the base of their necks. The arm was removed so that the only thing there was a shoulder blade.
The twins had said in an interview that they would love to one day be able to date, get married and have children.
The two have let the media into their lives. There have been special series of their story aired on TV about their graduation from Bethel University, their job search, and travels in Europe.
Abby and Brittany have earned two teaching licences. They will only be paid one salary though because the work is technically done by one person.
Abby is slightly taller at 5 feet 2 inches tall. Brittany is 4 feet 10 inches tall. Brittany likes to wear neutral colors while Abby likes colors that are more bright and vibrant.
The two respond differently to coffee. Brittany’s heart rate increases while coffee doesn’t have much of an effect on Abby.
The twins have different body temperatures. Abby usually gets warmer a lot faster. Even though the twins only need to buy one ticket to fly, they still have separate passports.
The two want to be teachers so that they can be role models and show others how to have a positive attitude towards life.
The twins are in sync now that they are adults. They said that is was difficult while they were younger but they now are able to coordinate with each other much better.
They often have to make sacrifices to do an activity that the other enjoys but they both do enjoy bowling and volleyball.
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1. God is always with you.
2. God knows what you need before you even ask.
3. I pray you are aware of his presence in your life today.
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God bless you and your family,
Aaron Tabor, MD