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World’s Oldest Conjoined Twins, Lori and George Schappell, die at age 62

Lori and George Schappell, the world’s oldest conjoined twins, have died.

The twins died April 7 of undisclosed causes, according to joint obituaries posted by Leibensperger Funeral Homes in Hamburg, Pennsylvania.

The Schappell twins were born in Pennsylvania on September 18, 1961. The couple, aged 62 years and 202 days, held the record for the oldest conjoined twins, according to the Guinness World Records website.

Before George Schappell came out as transgender later in 2007, the twins also held the record for the oldest conjoined twins ever. After George Schappell came out, they became the first set of same-sex conjoined twins to identify as different genders, the site explains.

The Schappell twins were craniopagus twins, meaning they lived with partially fused skulls. The two men shared vital blood vessels and 30 percent of their brains, according to Guinness. This was the rarest form of Siamese twins, accounting for only 2 to 6% of cases.

The twins were joined at the front facing opposite directions and were unable to see each other, according to a 2005 profile of the Schappell siblings in New York.

Surgeries to separate conjoined twins like them were not possible when the Schappells were born, even though they never wanted to be separated.

“I don’t believe in separation,” Lori Schappell told the Los Angeles Times in 2002. “I think you’re disturbing God’s work.”

Despite their physical unity, the twins lived very different lives.

Lori Schappell was able to walk even though her brother, who was four inches shorter, had been diagnosed with spina bifida and could not walk on his own, the Los Angeles Times reported in 2002. So Lori Schappell pushed her brother on a mobile cart. stool wherever they went.

George Schappell worked for years as a professional country singer, even booking gigs overseas. Lori Schappell graduated from college and worked in a hospital. While Lori Schappell packed medical instruments, George sat quietly with a book, the two men told the Los Angeles Times.

Lori Schappell pushes her brother George onto a stool at an event in New York in 2007.Jason Kempin / FilmMagic

Growing up together, the two found creative ways to accommodate each other. While Lori Schappell liked to shower in the evening, her brother preferred to shower at the start of each day. They developed a technique that allowed one twin to bathe while the other stayed dry.

“It’s normal whatever you do with it, but we’re very happy,” Lori Schappellt told the Los Angeles Times. “It’s all about compromise. If more people did this, the world would be a better place.

The twins lived the first 24 years of their lives in an institution for the mentally disabled after their “scared and confused parents” placed them there, according to the New York magazine profile.

They were only able to leave the institution after the wife of former Pennsylvania Gov. Richard Thornburgh helped prove to state authorities that they were not intellectually disabled, the magazine.

The twins then moved into a high-rise apartment designed for seniors in Reading, Pennsylvania, where they lived alone.

The Schappell twins have been featured in several television documentaries and talk shows.

They also starred in an episode of “Nip/Tuck” in 2004, portraying fictional conjoined twins Rose and Raven Rosenberg, according to IMDB.com.

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News Source : www.today.com

Eleon

With a penchant for words, Eleon Smith began writing at an early age. As editor-in-chief of his high school newspaper, he honed his skills telling impactful stories. Smith went on to study journalism at Columbia University, where he graduated top of his class. After interning at the New York Times, Smith landed a role as a news writer. Over the past decade, he has covered major events like presidential elections and natural disasters. His ability to craft compelling narratives that capture the human experience has earned him acclaim. Though writing is his passion, Eleon also enjoys hiking, cooking and reading historical fiction in his free time. With an eye for detail and knack for storytelling, he continues making his mark at the forefront of journalism.
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