The world’s oldest conjoined twins, Lori and George Schappell, were born in Pennsylvania on September 18, 1961. In 2007, they made history by becoming the world’s first conjoined twins to identify as different genders.  Also, as documented in the Guinness Book of World Records, Lori and George were nine years older than the second-oldest pair of female-born conjoined twins ever recorded.

The twins, Lori and George Schappell, passed away on April 7 due to undisclosed reasons. It is mentioned in joint obituaries by Leibensperger Funeral Homes in Hamburg, Pennsylvania. Lori and George Schappell, who were 62 years and 202 days old when they passed away, held the title of the world’s oldest conjoined twins, as noted on the Guinness World Records website.

World’s oldest conjoined twins joined at the head, they were known as craniopagus twins. They had separate bodies, but their skulls were partially fused. According to information reported by Guinness, they shared blood vessels and approximately 30% of their brain. 

They belonged to the rarest type of conjoined twinning, making up only 2-6% of cases. Also, surgery to separate them wasn’t possible when they were born, and doctors didn’t think they would live past 30. Despite their intense bond, they never expressed a desire to be apart. 

“I don’t believe in separation”

Lori told The Times.

Surprisingly, they couldn’t even look at each other directly throughout their lives. Even though they were always together, Lori and George had very different interests. They told New York Magazine in 2005 that they spent the first 24 years of their lives in a mental institution after their parents, who were scared and confused, placed them there soon after their birth.

George traveled worldwide as a country music singer, while Lori excelled as an award-winning bowler. During the 90s, Lori also worked at a hospital laundry facility when George wasn’t on tour. They appeared in many documentaries and even had a guest spot on the popular medical show “Nip/Tuck,” where they played fictional conjoined twins. 

According to Guinness World Records, George had Spina Bifida and used a wheelchair, which Lori pushed for him. They resided in a two-bedroom apartment in Pennsylvania, each with their room. They switched sleeping arrangements every night and even took showers separately. Although they tried to live independently, Guinness World Records reported that they “always” said they didn’t want to be separated. 

In September 2011, they appeared on ITV’s This Morning and in several documentaries. In 1997, they talked about their lives with director Antony Thomas, explaining how they lived independently and pursued their interests. You can watch their interview with Thomas on the True Lives YouTube channel. In the 1997 documentary, they said they never wanted to be separated.

Would we be separated? Absolutely not. My theory is: why fix what is not broken?

George reportedly said in a 1997 documentary.

According to the obituary, They were survived by their father, six siblings, numerous nieces and nephews, and a large group of friends.

The world’s oldest conjoined twins, Lori and George Schappell, made history with their remarkable bond. Despite facing challenges from birth, they embraced life together, defying medical expectations. Their unique journey showcased resilience and determination in society.


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