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World’s Oldest Conjoined Twins Lori and George Die Aged 62

Guinness World Records have announced the deaths of the oldest living conjoined twins and oldest female conjoined twins ever, Lori and George Schappell.

They passed away on Sunday 7 April at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania due to undisclosed causes, as per their obituaries published by Leibensperger Funeral Homes.

They were 62 years 202 days old – nine years older than the second-oldest female conjoined twins ever recorded.

Lori and George as babies

Born in Pennsylvania, USA, on 18 September 1961, Lori and George (formerly named Dori) had partially fused skulls, sharing vital blood vessels and 30% of their brains (the frontal and parietal lobes).

Despite being joined at the head, the twins differed in many ways.

Lori was able-bodied but George had spina bifida and could not walk. He sat in a wheelchair-type stool which Lori pushed around.

George enjoyed a successful career as a country singer, whilst Lori was a trophy-winning ten-pin bowler. Lori also worked at a hospital laundry for several years during the ‘90s, arranging her schedule around George’s gigs, which took them around the world to countries including Germany and Japan.

Lori (left) and George (right) on ITV’s This Morning (2011)

They became the world’s first same-sex conjoined twins to identify as different genders in 2007, when George started presenting as a man after revealing himself to be transgender.

He’d previously gone by the name Reba (after his idol, Reba McEntire) as he disliked the rhyming names that he and Lori were given.

The twins lived independently in a two-bedroom apartment in Pennsylvania. They each had their own room – alternating nights spent in each one – and tried to live their own individual lives as far as possible.

They took turns practising their separate hobbies; they said they effectively ‘zoned out’ when in each other’s room.

They also showered separately, using the shower curtain as a barrier while one showered and the other stood outside the bath.

Whenever they were asked if they wished they’d ever been separated, Lori and George always said no. “Would we be separated? Absolutely not. My theory is: why fix what is not broken?” George said in a 1997 documentary, which can be viewed above.

The twins defied all the predictions of medical professionals who said that they wouldn’t live past the age of 30. They became the oldest female conjoined twins ever in 2015, overtaking Masha and Dasha Krivoshlyapova who died aged 53.

Lori and George are survived by their father, six siblings, several nieces and nephews, and an extended family of friends.

 

Courtesy: Guinness World Records

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