World Mourns the Loss of World’s Oldest Conjoined Twins

The world is grieving the loss of Lori and George Schappell, the oldest living conjoined twins. Passed away at the age of 62 in their hometown of Pennsylvania, Lori and George shared an extraordinary bond. They were conjoined at the skull with separate bodies, with 30% of their brains and essential blood vessels connected.

Their remarkable journey came to an end on April 7 at the hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. The cause of their death has not been disclosed. George, who had spina bifida, relied on a mobility device, while Lori took on the role of pushing and steering his wheeled stool to facilitate their movement together. Theirs was the rarest form of conjoined twinning, affecting only 2% to 6% of conjoined twins.

In 2007, George made history by transitioning, making the Schappells the first same-sex conjoined twins to identify as different genders, as recognized by Guinness World Records. During their visit to London in 2011 to commemorate their 50th birthday, George discussed his journey as a transgender man with The Sun, saying: “I have known from a very young age that I should have been a boy.”

Both Lori and George graduated from the Hiram G Andrews Center and pursued careers at Reading Hospital afterward. Despite their physical connection, they had their own individual interests and hobbies. George followed his passion for music as a country singer, entertaining audiences worldwide, while Lori excelled as a tenpin bowler.

Remarkably, the Schappell twins maintained an independent lifestyle since the age of 24. After initially living in an institution, they later shared a two-bedroom apartment, with each sibling having their own room. They emphasized the importance of privacy, revealing that despite their physical attachment, they could still find solitude when needed.

Rejecting the idea of separation, which wasn’t possible during their time, the Schappells embraced their unique bond. “Would we be separated? Absolutely not,” George said in a 1997 documentary. “My theory is: why fix what is not broken?” Lori echoed this sentiment in a 2002 interview with the Los Angeles Times, saying: “I don’t believe in separation.”

Our hearts go out to Lori and George’s family and friends during this difficult time. Their incredible journey and unwavering bond will be remembered forever.


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