American conjoined twins Abby and Brittany Hensel have been in the public eye for most of their lives. Their first appearance on Oprah took place in 1996, when they were just six years old. By the time they graduated college in 2012, they were headlining their own reality TV show on TLC, Abby & Brittany.
But then, before you know it, the two dropped off the public radar.
So, what happened to Abby and Brittany? We’ve got the full scoop on why you never hear about these conjoined twins anymore!
Who are Abby and Brittany Hensel?
Mostly, we’re going to focus on how these conjoined twins rose to fame, why they seemingly disappeared, and what they’ve been doing lately. First, though, we need to start by answering a more basic question: who are Abby and Brittany?
Abby and Brittany were born on March 7, 1990 as a rare pair of conjoined twins. Conjoined twins only happen in every 50,000 to 60,000 births. The chances of survival at birth is low for conjoined twins, so Abby and Brittany were already a living miracle.
Then came a difficult decision for their parents Patty and Mike Hensel, a registered nurse and a carpenter/landscaper: should they try to separate the twins?
While some conjoined twins can be successfully separated by surgeons and survive the operation, Abby and Brittany’s chances were low. This is because they are dicephalic parapagus twins, meaning they have two heads on one shared torso. Only 11% of conjoined twins are dicephalic parapagus twins, and their chances of surviving a separation is extremely low.
Because of that, their parents decided against attempting such a separation. As such, Abby and Brittany have grown up together, essentially functioning as two different minds inhabiting a single body.