Ronnie and Donnie Galyon have broken the world record as the longest-living conjoined twins. The record is a tough one to beat in part because conjoined twins don’t typically live very long lives but also because some of them are purposefully killed in abortions if their diagnosis is discovered in the womb.
The Galyons beat the previous record holders, Italian twins Giacomo and Giovanni Battista Tocci, who were born in 1877 and lived to be 63.
The Ohio twins are joined at the waist and face each other and have four arms, four legs and separate hearts and stomachs. They share a lower digestive tract, a groin, a rectum and penis, over which Donnie has control. Despite the physical attachments and the mobility difficulties their younger brother Jim says Ronnie and Donnie are “really healthy.”
The twins spent two years in the hospital when they were born and are at peace with the fact that they will not be separated.
The twins were born healthy in Dayton, Ohio, in October 1951 but stayed in the hospital for two years as doctors tried to figure out how to separate them. When experts said they could not guarantee both babies would survive an operation to part them, the parents said they would stay as they were.
The men agree that was the best decision.
‘The good Lord made us,’ Ronnie has said. ‘Let our savior do it.’
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