When the pair of twins was born in 1990, their doctor said that they did not have a good shot at survival. Much to everyone’s surprise and delight, the two of them are still going strong! The Hensel twins are now trying to reach their dreams like most people, but they recently had to deal with some shocking news. People were both stunned and impressed upon first hearing about them. Many have stayed updated on their incredible journey as the years passed. Most only know about their childhood struggles, but let us now talk about a new milestone they recently achieved!
Let us go back to the start of it all, which would be March 7, 1990. It had been a cold day in Minnesota with thick blankets of snow on the ground. On that fateful day, Abby and Brittany Hensel were born. They were not your regular twins since they were conjoined! What made their situation more special was the fact that they were born dicephalic parapagus twins. It meant that while they were still attached to one another, their organs worked just fine. The doctors even called them a medical miracle!
The sad truth is that conjoined twins do not thrive often. Even with the help of medical professionals, the survival rate for people born like this is low. The doctors claimed that the girls were likely going to suffer the same fate as most conjoined twins. A quick look at the statistics will let you know just how miraculous it was that they were even born. Just one in 189,000 twins are born conjoined! On top of that, only 11% of that figure are dicephalic prapagus twins. As you can see, the Hensel twins were already very special from the get-go.
The birth and lives of Abby and Brittany amazed a lot of people from all over the world. However, we daresay that no one was more amazed than their doctors! They check up on them regularly and could not get enough of them. They were born with two brains, two heads, two hearts, two stomachs, three lungs, and one reproductive system. Yes, everything from the waist up comes in pairs, while everything is singular from the waist down. What makes it impressive is that the twins get to control their side of the body as well! Of course, they have to work together for certain activities.
They first got to experience fame in 1996. That was the time they appeared twice on The Oprah Winfrey Show. Not long after that, they graced the cover of Life magazine and became famous across the world. The girls got an offer to star in a documentary called Joined for Life about 6 years later. As expected, the movie went on to be a huge hit. In 2012, they got to star in their very own reality show that went by the title Abby and Brittany.
Like many kids, the twins had to master crawling. They were able to do so easily, but their parents were concerned about what it would be like to walk since they needed to coordinate their steps! Everyone was shocked and impressed when they learned how to ride a bike! Driving a truck was easy for them, but they had to take separate driving tests. It did not discourage them, and they were able to pass them easily! The sisters even invented their own special driving system. They had to control everything on their side of the car.
When they were only little girls, their parents needed to make a hard decision. It was up to them if they wanted to split the girls up or not! Parry, their mother, thought that it would be best if Brittany and Abby stayed together. However, their choice was a cause of concern for their doctors. There was a greater chance that their health would deteriorate if they remained conjoined. In the end, the Hensel sisters reached adulthood against all odds! They are even more successful than others expected them to be. In fact, they have attained more success than a great deal of single-headed people out there.
Aside from worrying about the state of their health, their parents were concerned about how they would fit in with peers. They were afraid that the girls would be ostracized by society. The good news is that they are very extroverted girls, and the show showcases their social skills. You will be able to see that they are adored by their relatives and friends! The twins also get a lot of support from their fans. They make sure that they respond to all the letters and emails that they get.
Now, it is no surprise that being in the limelight and being famous can distract anyone from other aspects of their lives. Can you just imagine being a regular person one day to someone everyone on the planet has heard of the next? However, the twins did not let their fame get to their heads. They decided to attend Bethel University and earned degrees in arts. In the beginning, they had different academic fields in mind, but it would be too hard to do this. In the end, they went with something they both liked.
The two of them graduated from university in 2012. After that, they immediately started to look for work. They felt anxious when they set out to od this. They got accepted by their peers, but they also knew that their condition would cause unease in some employers. Abby and Brittany decided to give it a shot and found great success. They thought that it was going to be difficult, but it did not take them long before they snagged a job. Of course, this incredible milestone was documented in their reality TV show.
We bet you want to know what their first job was. As we mentioned earlier, they decided to announce the exciting news on the show. They were thrilled and clapping their hands as well as finishing each other’s sentences while they did so! “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,” they said. Now that they are math specialists, they are a step closer to becoming full-time teachers.
“When they were five, I remember one wanted to be a pilot and one wanted to be a dentist. That was short-lived,” their mother Patty recalled. Abby and Brittany had different things in mind for their future in the past. Can you imagine what would have happened if they did not end up agreeing on what to do with their lives? Their condition limited their choices. This is the reason we are glad to hear that they are both reasonable enough to come to a decision. They even ended up agreeing on a career path!
For the sisters, teaching was an excellent career path. Brittany and Abby were always naturals when it comes to kids. Their career was not just a great opportunity to teach kids math, but they also taught their students a lesson in acceptance and tolerance. “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,” their mother said. What great news!
Parents all love to praise their kids, although what Patty had to say about her children was confirmed by their boss, school principal Mr. Good. He said that the girls were good with kids and perfect candidates for that position. He recognized their gifts right away when he first met Abby and Brittany. “There was something about the way they carried themselves,” he explained. He knew that they would be great teachers! It did not take Mr. Good long to realize that they are perfect for the job.
After the interview with the twins, Mr. Good wanted to take a moment and think about whether he should give the girls the job. However, it was not a hard decision to make whatsoever. The girls had yet to leave the building before he arrived at the decision to hire them. He even made an appearance on Abby & Brittany. This was what he had to say about it: “After our interview, I showed the girls out the door. 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!’”
While Mr. Good was more than excited to give the girls the job, he still felt a bit of uncertainty. The girls were clearly perfect for the job at hand, but this was nothing he has ever had to deal with before. It was the first time for conjoined twins to join the staff, and the Hensel sisters were actually the first conjoined twins he had ever met. He had no idea how to deal with a situation like this and did not know how others would react. The start of the school year was approaching, so he decided to talk to HR about this.
It took him some time before he arrived at a decision about whether to hire the Hensels or not. The school board actually took the whole summer to finally make a call! When the school year was starting, they had no choice but to decide. In the end, they decided to hire Brittany and Abby. The girls had their own contracts and were treated as two separate individuals. However, the school board decided to issue them just one paycheck. Although it might sound unfair, this guaranteed that the twins will not have to work alone. After all, they always have one another.
The school board was thrilled for the Hensel twins to join the team since they were clearly something else. However, there was one more thing Mr. Good had to do. He decided to notify the students about Abby and Brittany first. He sent out a letter to all of his students and their parents to let them know about the special condition of the new teachers. It was a good idea to give them a heads up to prevent any kind of drama once the kids showed up for their first day of school.
As Mr. Good and the school board tried to come to a resolution, Abby and Brittany stayed at home and anticipated news about the job. They were both jumpy and excited at the time. Of course, they kept their fingers crossed for a positive response but knew that it was a possibility that they would get rejected. Fortunately, they did not feel nervous or shy at all! They hoped that Mr. Good would come calling with great news so that they could start educating hungry minds at last. Brittany and Abby exhibited their excitement on the show. The media also made sure to cover every step of the journey!
It can be difficult for regular twins to find love. Can you imagine how much harder it must be for Abby and Brittany? There are a lot of hardships and limitations they have to face, but they are willing to conquer all of them. Everyone dreams of falling in love, but they have different expectations when it comes to love. They admitted they want to find the one, fall in love, get married, and have kids. It will be a little awkward, but it is certainly not impossible! We are sure it will only be a matter of time.
People like to spread rumors about people, especially when it has something to do with their love lives. In 2012, rumors started going around about them. To be specific, people started saying that Brittany has found love and gotten engaged! Everyone was surprised to hear about this, and many questions about this supposed romance flooded the twins. People wanted the scoop and began to ask them some pretty controversial questions. The truth was that there was no truth to the rumors. Even so, the controversial questions kept coming. People began to wonder how romantic relationships would work for them.
Chang And Eng
No doubt, it is not going to be easy for conjoined twins to have a relationship. Despite this, it is still possible! Just look at Chang and Eng Bunker, the most well-known Siamese twins in history. They attained this status thanks to their romantic relationships. They met two lovely women, fell in love, and tied the knot. In 1946, Chang and Eng got married to Sallie and Adelaide Yates. They went on to have a total of 22 kids between them. This is the proof you need that a happy relationship is possible for them!
The Mondal Twins
There is another interesting case of conjoined twins aside from the Bunker twins. We want you to meet Ganga and Jamuna Mondal, a pair of Siamese twins from India. They became famous across the planet thanks to the fact that they dated a teacher known as Jasmuddin Ahmad. He had been applying for a sound engineer position at the circus where the twins worked. As soon as they laid their eyes on him, the girls fell in love! It was love at first sight that turned into a great relationship after some time.
When people look at twins, they assume that they must have similar personalities because they look so alike. However, this is not at all the truth. As a matter of fact, Abby and Brittany are very different people with different personalities. Brittany is more laidback than her twin and has a great but unique sense of humor. Meanwhile, Abby is more outspoken and stimulating. If you ever meet them, you will always find them laughing. You might even say that their positivity is what people love best about them!
Ups And Downs
It is not always easy to be a twin. There are times when things can seem rather dim. Having a twin can be pretty great too. Brittany and Abby have a lot of stories about helping one another, and their stories are all very unique. There was a time when Brittany felt sick and struggled to hold anything, including medicine, down. It was a good thing that her twin was there to play the hero and look after her. Abby took the medicine and hoped that this would sort her out. They have separate organs, but it worked!
If you have siblings of your own, we are sure that you also get tired of them. The good thing is that you can simply walk away and be by yourself when this happens. Sadly, this is not a possibility for the Hensels when they get on each other’s nerves. There was a time when Brittany suffered pneumonia and had to stay at home for days on end. Unfortunately, this meant that Abby had to do the same thing even if she was healthy. It was then that she started to talk about separation. However, she later dropped it and realized that she only wanted to go out for a walk!
Not Considering It
As soon as Abby started to talk about separation, Brittany began to tear up. While they do annoy each other every here and there, they just could not imagine what life would be like without each other. As we already said, the sisters have very different personalities. Brittany is considerably more sensitive than Abby and did not want to think about separation at all. In the end, Abby had to reassure Brittany that she would never consider getting separated all because she is frustrated with her. What a relief!
Brittany and Abby have spent every single second of their lives with each other. They do not just love the other unconditionally, but they also rely on each other often to perform basic everyday activities. Can you just imagine how unique their bond must be? All of us go through lonesome moments in our lives, but the girls never have to deal with. They have been there for each other both through the happiest and darkest times of their lives. They have never spent a single moment apart and need each other more than any of us can possibly imagine.
When they were only little girls, the fact that they are conjoined might not have been as big of an issue. Each day, they grow into independent individuals. We are sure that they experience a lot of frustration about the situation as well. There might come a time when Brittany and Abby will need to make huge decisions that will not satisfy the other party. Aside from that, their special condition could prevent them from marrying a significant other or having kids. Their family and friends live in fear that there will come a time when the sisters get into a huge argument.
Even though they get a lot of love and support, Abby and Brittany know that they do not look a lot like the average person. This often means attracting unwanted attention. They have previously mentioned how much they hate it when others stare at them. It must be rather difficult for a regular passerby to avoid staring when they bump into the twins on the street. They might not have bad intentions and only feel curious, but the one thing that the girls hate more would be people sneaking photos of them!
It can be difficult to be your own person when you are a conjoined twin. For these people, they have to share nearly everything. However, it is not an issue for them to share clothes. People often hate it when a sibling borrows or wears their clothes. However, Brittany and Abby like the perk of getting custom-made clothes. While they share one body, they do not have to dress the same all the time. There are times when they wear shirts with two necklines. They get to wear different shoes or stockings as well!
Brittany and Abby need teamwork since they cannot perform normal activities without helping the other. However, the twins appear to walk differently even if they are well-synced. No, you are probably off the mark. Their walking sort of represents and resembles their different personalities. Abby often takes firm steps and has her feet touch the ground. Meanwhile, Brittany tends to walk on her tippy toes instead! However, this does not make them less coordinated nor does it affect the way that they move.
While Abby has already promised Brittany that the two of them will always stay like this, separation remains an option for them. If they ever choose to separate, they will have to undergo a very risky surgery. The longer they stay together, the more their bodies depend on the other. On top of that, the surgery can bring certain consequences. For one, a twin might thrive like that and the other one will struggle for survival. At this point, we are just glad to hear that they have both made wonderful lives for themselves without the need to separate!