Though the option of surgical separation is now offered, there are those who stay conjoined and still live a normal life, like everyone else.


Chang and Eng Bunker

Chang and Eng Bunker are probably one of the most well-known set of conjoined twins. They are the origin of the term "Siamese twins," though that term isn't really used anymore because it is seen more as a derogatory term. Chang and Eng were born in Siam on May 11, 1811 as omphalopagus twins. They were joined by a small bit of cartilage, with fused complete livers. They were initially seen as an omen in their small village, but after a while everyone started to appreciate them. Their mother didn't want her two sons to be separated, with the fear of death of one or both of them. She taught her sons to slowly stretch their connected tissue so that they can stand side-by-side instead of how they were born face-to-face. A merchant discovered the twins and took the twins out of the country to tour around the United States and then Europe. They became a very popular icon. They quit the exhibition life in 1839, and settled down in Wilkesboro, North Carolina. They became farmers and married two sisters, Adelaide and Sarah Ann Yates. No one approved of their relationships, so Eng and Chang wanted to be surgically separated. When the sisters found out, they stopped Eng and Chang. They married in a double wedding in April, 1843. Eng and Chang had a total of 22 children. However, some of the children did die in infancy or early childhood. On January 17, 1874, Chang Bunker suddenly died during the night. The cause is still unknown, but it is believed to either be from bronchitis or pneumonia. Eng woke up in shock the next morning, and everyone was concerned. They all wanted the two to be separated, but Eng refused to and died about three hours after Chang's death. If Chang and Eng Bunker were living in our lifetime, they could have been successfully separated, but that option wasn't really offered during their lives.



Abby and Brittany Hensel

Abigail and Brittany Hensel were born on March 7, 1990 as dicephalic conjoined twins. They both had their own spine that meet and join at their pelvis. Each of them has a stomach, a pair of lungs, and one arm and leg each. Abby has control of one of the arms and legs, while Brittany has control of the other. They were born with a third arm between their head, but that was removed while they were infants. Their parents, Patty and Mike Hensel, chose not to separate their daughters due to the operation being too risky. They say that they do not regret their decision, and Abby and Brittany admit that they are glad to be together the way that they are. They did have to have their scoliosis fixed and chest expanded for easier breathing. Both girls attend school like normal children. They have to do their own homework and take their own tests. They were also treated at two individuals when they went to get their driver's license. They had to go through the test twice, once for each twin. They love to play sports, such as volleyball and basketball. They have goals and dreams like everyone else. Though they don't look like two normal girls, they act as their own person.



Below are two videos of Abby and Brittany Hensel, from when they were young to how they are doing now.