In Memoriam: World’s oldest Siamese twins died at 62

Lori and George Schappell managed to have separate careers, relationships and hobbies throughout their lives.
In Memoriam: World’s oldest Siamese twins died at 62

Defying medical predictions, Lori and George Schappell the world's oldest Siamese twins aged 62, on 7 April at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. The cause of their death remains unknown.

Although they were craniopagus- fused by the cranial vault- they managed to defy all the doctors' predictions that they would not be able to live beyond the age of thirty.

Lori and George shared bones, vital blood vessels and 30% of their brains, including the frontal and parietal lobes. This is the rarest form of Siamese twin, accounting for only 2-6% of cases.

George and Lori also became the first same-sex Siamese twins to identify as different genders after George, then called Dori, announced he was transgender in 2007.

Born on 18 September 1961 in West Reading, Pennsylvania, the pair had two separate brains despite their peculiarity. George suffered from spina bifida, a defect in the closure of the spinal column, and had to use a wheelchair, pushed by Lori. Although the twins were inseparable, it was "very important" for both of them "to live as independently as possible", says the obituary.

Throughout their lives, they kept repeating that they had a "normal" life and tried to do as many things as possible individually, particularly when showering. For example, they used the shower curtain as a barrier between them while one showered and the other stood outside the bath.

They both graduated from state grammar schools and went on to university. George worked for six years, while Lori worked in a hospital laundry. She gave up her job in 1996 so that her brother could pursue a career in country music.

Lori and George never wanted to be apart. "My theory is this: why fix what isn't broken?" said George in a 1997 documentary. The Siamese twins leave behind their father, six brothers and sisters, nieces and nephews and many friends.

In Memoriam: World’s oldest Siamese twins died at 62


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