Conjoined Twins Abigail and Brittany Hensel

Abigail “Abby” Loraine Hensel and Brittany “Britty” Lee Hensel, Minnesota’s most famous teenagers conjoined twins.

Abby and Brittany Hensel, born March 07,1990, are daughters of Patty Hensel, a registered nurse, and Mike Hensel, a carpenter and landscaper who lives on Carver County, Minnesota, United States. The twins have a younger brother named Dakota and a younger sister named Morgan.

abby_and_brittany_hensel

The twins are highly symmetric dicephalic parapagus conjoined twins. The two have spines and separate half-sacrums, which joined within a slightly broad pelvis. Each control and sense their matching arm and leg.

Brittany’s head is about 15 degrees laterally outward, while abby’s head tilts laterally outward about 5 degrees, which cause Brittany to appear slightly less small. They were raised in New Germany, Minnesota and attended Lutheran High School in Mayer, Minnesota. At the age of 12, the twins undergo a surgery at Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare to correct scoliosis and to enlarge their chest cavity to prevent future breathing difficulties.

Each of the twins manages one side of their conjoined body and coordinated in both their arms and legs when required. With their coordinating efforts, they were able to walk, run and ride a bicycle normally. They each write with their corresponding hand and they can type on a computer keyboard at a normal speed. Both enjoy hobbies and sports including volleyball, kickball, swimming, basketball and cycling. They can also play the piano. They enjoy softball, digital photography, the internet, social networking and even talking on the phone.

They appeared in Joined for Life, in April 2006, a documentary produced by Advanced Medical, distributed on the Discovery Health Channel. Last April 8 and 29, 1996 they also appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show. Twins were also featured on the cover of Life under the caption “One Body, Two Souls” and their daily lifestyle was shown in the article titled The Hensels’ Summer. And followed up with another story in September 1998.

An updated story of them at age 11 was published in Time and again in Life in year 2003. And appeared in a follow-up documentary on The Learning Channel last December 17,2006 filmed around the time of their 16th birthday. Wherein they discuss dealing with teenage years and getting their driver’s license. They both passed their driver’s license exam, both the written and driving tests. They had to take the test twice, one for each twin. Abby controls the pedals, radio, heat, defogger etc. While Brittany, controls the turn signal and lights, but together they control  the steering wheel.

In 2008, they both graduated from High School. They began college at Bethel University in St. Paul, Minnesota, USA.

Despite sharing a body, the twins’ differ in preferences with food, clothing color and etc. Some of their clothes are altered by their seamstress so that they have a two separate necklines in order to emphasize their individuality. Sometimes they share a single meal for the sake of convenience but, usually they have separate meals. Abby is better at mathematics and Britty is better at writing. They are clearly different person, with different likes and dislikes.

There are some concerns about their abilities to have continued good health, for the fact that, there are only four known sets of conjoined twins who shares a complete upper body and two legs have ever survived into adulthood. For most have a congenital heart problem or other organ abnormality. But none have shown up in the Hensels’ case. They intend to make a limited number of media appearances in the future to avoid people to talk about their unusual  body configuration. They intensely dislike being photographed by strangers while going out on their private lives or even being stared. The two expect to date, get married  and have children. They hope sharing some information about their lives will give them a fair treatment  to be able to live their social lives like any other people and continue to make new friends.

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