Humanity has always marveled at the unconventional. What is different has always inspired us, touched us and has even brought tears to our eyes. Upon birth, they were labeled a miracle of modern science. The fact that they continued to thrive is still blowing doctors away today. We watched this lovely pair graduate high school, move onto college and even become two hard-working women.
The Hensel Sisters’ Continuing Story
When we first met the Hensel sisters almost three decades ago, we were immediately hooked on their story. Our normal worlds turned completely upside down. We grew up with these twins and watched them bloom from little girls to women.
They let us in on all their trials and tribulations and allowed us to watch them grow into the successful pair that they have become. Today they have made available to us another milestone in their life. Get ready for the big news.
March 7, 1990
The place was Carver County, Minnesota and the date was March 7, 1990. That’s when Brittany and Abby were born. They were born conjoined twins which are already unique, but they were even more unique in the fact that they were dicephalic parapagus twins.
This means that they were unified perfectly. They were two separate heads and minds on one fully functioning body. This isn’t something that doctors come across every day. They were quite amazed by the two little wonders.
Defying The Odds
Things weren’t looking up for the twins upon their birth. Being conjoined isn’t a condition that one usually allows one to thrive. In fact, the survival rate is extremely low. It’s alarming to look at the statistics surroundings the issue.
One in 189,000 births brings about a conjoined twin. Of those conjoined twins born only about 11% of them are dicephalic parapagus twins. This gives you an idea of how rare the Hensel sisters are. They were truly something special to behold.
Working Together To Get By
Brittany and Abby are quite the enigmas. Doctors have found their body to be remarkable. They have two heads, two minds, two hearts, four lungs and two stomachs. Everything below the waist is singular and shared by the both of them.
More impressively, the twins each control one half of the body. Abby controls one leg and an arm and so does Brittany. They’ve had to work together all their lives. Walking, clapping, crawling and brushing their hair has always taken teamwork.
First Brush With Fame
Their strength and struggle gained them international fame in 1996. It was that year that they made two appearances on The Oprah Winfrey Show and were featured on the cover of Life magazine. The appearances led to them having worldwide fame.
Six years later they garnered their own documentary called Joined For Life. The documentary was a massive success for the conjoined sisters. Ten years later in 2012, they got their own reality television show called Abby & Brittany.
They’ve Mastered Driving
If the twins can ride a bike, it should shock nobody that they know how to drive a truck. They did have to retake the written test once, but they excelled beautifully during the driving test and actually passed it twice. That’s very impressive.
The two even developed a system that works amazing for them. One of them controls everything on the left, while the other handles ever hurdle on the right. We could assure you, they are definitely turning heads while on the road.
Usually, at birth, a parent would choose to separate the twins. In this case, their mom Patty decided to keep them as one. This scares doctors because usually conjoined twins suffer from bad health as they get older.
Only four recorded cases of conjoined twins have actually made it into to adulthood. That said, the twins are currently 28-years-old and still thriving. Whilst things can go south, doctors are hoping they thrive and live to reach an old age.
Very Extroverted Twins
The two girls are extremely extroverted and you’d gather this by tuning into their show on TLC. This doesn’t mean that they don’t have social moments. They actually have an expansive group of friends who really support and watch over them.
To top it off, they often answer all the emails that they get from fans. They Hensel sisters are bent on spreading awareness of their situation. They have managed to do this by appearing and multiple television special and as being guest on talk shows.
Pursuing Their Personal Dreams
While getting involved in reality television and Hollywood can certainly take someone off their personal path, the twins stayed focus. After the Hensel sisters graduated from high school they went on to Bethel University.
They both pursued a bachelors degree in the Arts. The confessed that they had at one point thought about learning different teaching disciplines, but changed their minds when they figured the extra coursework would be too difficult.
Finding Work And Entering The Adult World
2012 saw the Hensel sisters graduated from college and ready to hit the workforce. Going out into the adult world couldn’t be easy for the conjoined twins. It goes without saying that their condition would shock an unsuspecting interviewer.
That said, they managed to strike success quickly into their job hunt. On an episode of Abby & Brittany, the announced that they had finally found a job. With that news, the world had their ears perked and were waiting to hear what they’d do for work.
The Twin Math Specialists
The world tuned in to hear the twins break the news of their new job. In very typical twin fashion they explained to the world what their new job would be. Their announcement was filled with excited, hand clapping and finishing each other’s sentences.
“We are fourth- and fifth-grade math specialists, so we’ll have two classes of math. It’s part-time, which is nice, so we’ll be kind of transitioning into the teaching world.” Everyone was happy for the twins and couldn’t wait to see what would happen next.
Not Always On The Same Path
Things were once very different for the twins. Patty, the twins’ mother looked back at a time when the twins seemed to be going down completely different paths.“When they were five, I remember one wanted to be a pilot and one wanted to be a dentist.
That was short-lived as they soon realized that they weren’t going to able to do two separate careers..” One can imagine that those career paths wouldn’t be easy for a set of conjoined twins. Luckily, teaching is a much more versatile career.
Naturals With Children
It seemed like the Hensel twins had found the career that they were born for Teaching seemed to be the perfect career choice for the twins. When it came to bonding with children Abby and Brittany have always been naturals.
Their mother Patty further stated,“They’ve just always had a knack with kids, and kids have always been kind of drawn to them. Maybe it started with curiosity but then once their simple questions are answered they still are just drawn to Ab and Brit.”
Born To Teach
Mr. Good, their boss, and the school’s principal has stated that when it comes to teaching the girls are complete naturals. During the interview process they two girls sat across from him and he was struck by their behavior and their manner of speaking.
Over 175 people applied for the job, but once he talked to the Hensel sisters, he knew that they were the perfect fit for the environment they were trying to sustain. That said, they’d have to prepare the community for the sisters.
Hire Those Girls
Mr. Good already wanted to hire the twins, but it was what happened next that really pushed him to make the move. On Abby & Brittany, Mr. Good stated before the cameras, “After our interview, I showed the girls out the door.”
He continued, “I came back in the room and before I even sat back down one of the people said, ‘Run after them, hire them, give them the job.’” The school was excited by the prospect of having the two celebrities working at their school.
Mr. Good’s Uncertainty
Although he was ecstatic over the twins and thought they were naturals, a big part of him felt that he was delving into uncharted territory. They never had conjoined twins on the staff before and didn’t know how to handle the situation.
That said, he took his concerns to the HR department. He was on a mission to find the easiest way that he could transition the twins into the job and make them teachers. Without doing so, their first day in class could a disaster.
Paid For One
The school had to make some tough choices and it definitely wasn’t hard to see why. It was actually quite obvious why they needed to be prepared. Although they had to treat each twin as an individual, they were connected to the same body.
HR decided it was best to have the twins each sign their own individual contract, yet get paid a single salary and have split between them. Therefore, when it came to the pay, Abby would take home half a paycheck and Brittany the other half.
Introducing The Hensel Sisters
Obviously, they had to announce that the Hensel sisters were now teaching at the school. They couldn’t let the kids arrive at the beginning of the school year to a two-headed teacher. The surprise would hurt the children as well at the girls.
Mr. Good decided to reintroduce the Hensel sisters to the community and sent out a letter that let residents know that the Abby and Brittany were working at the school and teaching math. Many were actually quite excited to see how things would go.
Realizing Their Dream
While HR and Mr. Good went head over heels looking for solutions and answers, the twins just sat back and anticipated the coming school year. They did not feel shy or nervous, but only excited. They had been preparing for this for years.
On their reality show, the girls stated in unison, “I’m excited; I can’t wait!” In December 2017, it was announced by In Touch Weekly that Abby and Brittany were both 5th-grade teachers. Everyone was in love with this big news.
Expectations For Love
The lives of conjoined twins come with a series of complications and they land one in a lot of hard work. There are a number of limitations and hardships they must face. One of the biggest complications definitely lands in the love department.
Both twins have shown interest in falling in love, getting married and eventually even having children. As you can imagine, this can land the twins in one heck of an awkward situation. This is definitely something their going to need to work through.
Rumors began floating around in 2012 that the twins had gotten engaged. Well, not both twins but just Brittany. Although this rumor was proved to be false, dozens upon dozens of questions have flooded in concerning the twins and their love lives.
Many controversial questions asked were quite shocking. After proven false one had to wonder if relationships within the conjoined realm would even work out. For their sake, we’re hoping that they do find true love someday.
The Siamese Twins
That turned eyes to the most famous set of twins ever, Siamese (Now Thai) twins, Chang and Eng Butler. They were how we got the phrase Siamese twins. They married Adelaide and Sallie Yates in 1843 and ended up having 22 children.
This goes to show that conjoined twins and grow up to have a successful relationship and even reproduce. These two managed to live a very long and successful life with love, happiness and even children. The Hensel twins will be okay.
Ganga and Jamuna
That said, they were men and men do work differently. Hope isn’t dead for these twins though. For a more relatable case, we can turn to Ganga and Jamuna Mondal. They are currently dating a teacher named Jasimuddin Ahmad.
He met the twins while filling in for a sound engineer at the circus that the twins work at. It was love at first sight and he immediately started courting them. His actions brought him national fame and he now goes by the name Mr. India.
While most would expect the twins to have very similar personalities, this just isn’t true. Abby is much more out spoken and challenging. On the other hand, Brittany is more laidback and known for her weird sense of humor.
It isn’t uncommon to hear the twins argue over what to wear and things of this matter. Usually, it inspires laughter from those around them, but there is obviously a deep-rooted issue. You will argue with someone who is with you all the time.
The Upside Of Twins
At one point things looked dim for the twins. Brittany had gotten terribly ill and was struggling to hold down her medicine. Abby decided to be a hero and began taking the medication for her sister with the hopes that it might help her recover from her illness.
Thankfully, Abby’s plan worked and things didn’t go bad at all. We both know that if the two did separate, they would end up missign each other a lot and would even end up not being able to function in a very normal way.
First Talks Of Separation
When the twins were much younger, Brittany got sick with pneumonia and was confined to her bed for a number of days. Abby felt perfectly healthy but was also forced to lay in bed while her sister recovered. You know how frustrating this could be.
This frustrated the bored sister and she began talking about getting separated. At this point, Abby was just lying in bed dreaming about going for a walk while one half of her was failing to thrive. They ultimate worked things out completely.
Brittany Rejects Separation
Hearing her sister contemplate separation didn’t sit well with Britany, in fact, it the news impacted the sick twin in a huge way. The thought alone resulted in her crying and practically begging her sister to never separate from her.
In the end, a fed up Abby assured her sister that it was all talk and that she had no intention of separating from her. How would anyone really risk the one they love for their own selfish need. The separation really wouldn’t even be possible.
Over the years, the twins learned to depend on each other to no end. In 28 years these girls have never spent a moment away from each other. Imagine a life where you and your sibling were never apart. It could be both beautiful and very, very maddening.
Think about a life where a moment alone was foreign to you as flying across the world. No doubt, they must be curious about this aspect of existence, but embracing it will not be at all easy, in fact it would be pretty impossible for the two of them.
What The Future May Hold
As they continuously bloom and grow older, the neverending supply of shared moments must be increasingly frustrating for them.
Their difference in opinions and opposite personalities will definitely see them clashing when it comes to things like choosing a husband or raising children. One can’t deny that they are bound to find themselves in some heated arguments.
Disliking The Stares
Abby and Brittany are well aware that compared to the average human being they are very different looking. That said, they absolutely cannot stand when people stare at them. Seeing them on the street and not starring can’t be easy, but they dislike it.
Furthermore, the twins hate when people take pictures of them with asking for permission. Do not run up to these twins with a camera. They will not appreciate it and are not afraid to let you know how they feel about it.
Custom Made Clothes
Like most girls, fashion means a lot to these twins. Let’s face it, embracing your individuality can be hard to accomplish you have two heads strapped to one body. That said, the two do all that they can and part of that is getting their own custom made clothes.
They will often get a shirt that has two different necklines. It also isn’t rare to see the twins wear two different pairs of shoes or stalkings. While they are one, the two are definitely their own individuals and this would be apparent if you saw them.
They Walk Differently
From the looks of them, you’d expect for the twins to walk differently and probably a lot slower than the average human being, but they actually can carry themselves at a fast pace and look as natural as anyone else around them.
That said, they do walk differently as in one twin always plants her foot directly on the ground while the other walks in a tippy toe kind of fashion. That said, it is a beautiful system that works for them in a very good fashion.
Separation Or No Separation?
If the twins one day do decide to consider separation surgery, it will be extremely risky. Often the linked bodies begin to depend on each other to get the systems pumping. It is almost guaranteed that one twin will thrive, while the other will be in for a much harder life.
Given the love that they share for one another, it is unlikely at this point that they will opt for surgery. That said, it has been brought up and one has to wonder how real her desire for separation was.