Monday, 29 April 2019

Till Death Do Us Part: Twin Sisters Sharing The Same Body; The Incredible Story of Brittany and Abby

On the day the twins were born, doctors told their parents they probably wouldn’t even last the night. Thankfully they did and way surpassed where they were “supposed” to be physically and intellectually. Conjoined twins are extremely rare to begin with. About one in every 40,000 babies worldwide is born conjoined.

They Always Have Separate Cakes

While the girls are similar in a lot of ways, they also differ in their food preferences. They each have their own stomach so they enjoy different types of cuisine and often don’t feel hungry at the same time. Each year, Brittany and Abby’s parents get them their own birthday cakes.

The girls admit to occasionally sharing a meal if it’s something they both enjoy like hamburgers. It makes it easier for them to eat at the same time because they must help one another out with utensils and arm movements. They’ve learned to compromise when it comes to mealtime in order to eliminate chaos.

Dicephalic twins make up only eleven percent of all the conjoined twins in the world. There are only three reported cases of dicephalic twins surviving into adulthood. Brittany and Abby are the only ones to have ever survived in the United States. There are two other cases, one in Italy and one in Turkey.

They Have Separate Immune Systems

Despite sharing many of the same major organs, Abby and Brittany have separate immune systems. One of them can be totally healthy while the other one is horribly sick. In fact, Brittany has had pneumonia twice in her life and Abby has never had it.

The twins both agree that being sick is one of the few times they wish they were separated. When Brittany was ill as a child, Abby remembers wishing to be separated after being bored and restless while confined in the same bed as her sick sister. Brittany became so upset by the thought she cried uncontrollably until Abby assured her she wouldn’t leave her side.

Separate But Together

Not only do the twins have distinct personalities they also excel in different subjects. Abby prefers mathematics while Brittany enjoys writing. Abby is very outspoken while Brittany is quieter and laid back. Overall the girls’ interests thankfully overlap frequently. They both love volleyball, going to the movies, riding bikes, and playing musical instruments.

For the moments when they can’t agree, they’ve learned to work together and compromise. “When it comes to decisions, there are compromises we have to make,” says Abby. “We take turns. We want to work it so each of us is happy and we find a happy medium.”

Shared Body Different Personalities

Despite sharing a body, Brittany and Abby are their own people. They have distinct and individual personalities. Abby prefers pink and girly clothing and shoes while Brittany is more of a tomboy. The twins have had different haircuts and hair colors, and have even gone as far as having their clothing tailored to have different necklines and hemlines.

Thankfully the twins have learned to compromise on a daily basis about what to wear and how to look. They’ve admitted to swapping off who chooses what to wear each day in order to keep one another feeling happy and unique.

They Were Raised Right

Abby and Brittany’s parents have also encouraged them to be their own person despite their physical limitations. “When children ask the girls if they have two heads, they say they don’t, but that each has their own head. That’s what we have encouraged them to do, to develop their own individuality as much as possible,” explains their mom, Patty.

Brittany and Abby’s parents have carefully raised them to be their own person. When one girl did something wrong, they were sure to scold only one, not the other. It must have been difficult at times but it’s their strong upbringing that’s helped them become successfull.
They’re The Rarest Dicephalus Twins In The World

They're Cover Models

When they were just six years old, the twins appeared on the Oprah Winfrey show. This was their first step out into the spotlight. It led to their worldwide fame and later that year landed them on the cover of Life under the caption “One body, two souls.”

They’ve also done television specials for the Discovery Channel, TLC, and the BBC. In 2012 they even earned their own series on TLC called Abby & Brittany. It showcased their everyday lives, their friends, their families and offered an inside glimpse at who they are. It was one of the network’s most popular shows that year.

Simple Tasks Are Difficult

The twins have to think about everything together – what to wear, how to do their hair and makeup, where to go, how to get there, and more. They can’t simply get up in the morning and do whatever they feel like. They must first consult one another. They’ve both admitted to not sleeping overly soundly due to the other moving around or making noise.

In their TLC special they both spoke about the difficulties about getting ready in the morning. Neither considered themselves a morning person due to the lack of sleep and strenuous routine just to get out the door.

Great Mind Thinks Alike

Not only are the twins physical movements in harmony, but their thoughts are also. When they write emails they respond as one person rather than as individuals. The twins are also able to anticipate one another’s feelings with little to no verbal communication.

For tasks such as responding to email, they type and respond as one, anticipating each other’s feelings with little verbal communication between them. This is a common attribute to conjoined twins. Their close friend says, “They finish each other’s sentences — they both know what the other is thinking and what she is going to say. It makes me smile all......

They Work To Educate Others

When the twins turned sixteen, they agreed to let TLC into their home to film a special documentary on what their daily lives were like. The twins hoped that by sharing their lives and experiences, they would be able to educate others and in return live out normal social lives.

Although the twins aren’t huge fans of the press or being in the spotlight they decided to do the show to help break down preconceived ideas of what it was like to be conjoined. Offscreen they enjoy the comforts of their quiet Minnesota farmhouse away from cameras and photographers.

The twins successfully passed their drivers test when they were sixteen and transport themselves wherever they like. The girls actually had to take the written driving test twice as well as pass the supervised portion of the test two times in a row. Their mother, Patty, admitted to feeling a little unsure about their driving saying, “I don’t know what would happen if they got pulled over for speeding.

Would they each get a ticket or just Abby because it’s her foot on the accelerator?” In order to drive successfully, Abby controls everything to the right of the driver’s seat, while Brittany mans the left.

They Graduated College

Both girls graduated from Bethel University with a degree in education. Originally, both twins wanted to focus on different concentrations within their major, but the extra coursework proved to be too challenging. They’ve moved out on their own and live totally independent lives together. “We were raised to believe we could do anything we wanted to do, ” the twins explain.

They continue to surpass the expectations doctors, teachers and mentors have placed on them, year after year. They find the strength in each other to tackle any obstacle that might be tossed their way. They just want to live normal lives like ever
The twins successfully passed their drivers test when they were sixteen and transport themselves wherever they like. The girls actually had to take the written driving test twice as well as pass the supervised portion of the test two times in a row. Their mother, Patty, admitted to feeling a little unsure about their driving saying, “I don’t know what would happen if they got pulled over for .....

They Travel The World

The girls have never let their physical restraints stop them. Together they’ve traveled the world with friends. Although they only need one plane ticket, they each have their own passports. The girls went to Europe with their friends during their 2012 TLC special.

For the most part, they live completely normal lives — they hang out with friends, go to parties and even went to college, moved out of their parent’s house, and got jobs. They’re just your average twenty-something girl…almost. In the opening credits of their show, they both chime in to say “The most amazing thing about us is we are like everyone else.”

They Plan To Get Married

Both Brittany and Abby remain optimistic that they will one day get married and have a family. Although neither of them has found Mr. Right yet, they both feel there are two guys out there who will love them the way they are.

Scientists have cautioned the girls about how difficult this step might be in their lives as they share a reproductive system. But the two have worked through everything else together in their 27 years of life and never let any other roadblocks deter them from achieving their goals. They will be sure to figure this out as well.

They're Teachers

The twins are now 27 and work as elementary school teachers. They love working together because one can give the lesson while the other observes the class and answers questions. As of right now, the girls collect the salary of one person because they work together on virtually every task, however, they’re hopeful about their futures.

“As maybe experience comes in we’d like to negotiate a little bit, considering we have two degrees and because we are able to give two different perspectives or teach in two different ways. One can be teaching and one can be monitoring and answering questions,” said Brittany. “So in that sense, we can do more than one person,” she added.

If you think Brittany and Abby’s story is incredible, wait until you read oldest conjoined twins that lived and how they died.

(Culled from Trendchasers)

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