World's oldest conjoined twins die aged 62 after life spent fused at the head

The world's oldest conjoined twins have died at the age of 62.

Lori and her transgender brother, George Schappell, tragically passed away in a Pennsylvania hospital on Sunday. According to their online obituaries, the cause of death remains undisclosed.

The twins were born with partially-fused skulls and shared 30 per cent of their brains. As reported by the Mirror, the pair defied medical predictions that they wouldn't live past 30.

Lori was able-bodied, but George - who had spina bifida - used a wheelchair which his twin pushed around. George had a successful career as a country singer, while Lori pursued her passion for ten-pin bowling, even winning trophies.

In the '90s, Lori worked at a hospital laundry, arranging her shifts around George's gigs. George's country singer success took them on trips around the world, and the conjoined twins were able to visit Germany and Japan, as per the Guinness World Records.

Lori and George Schappell
Lori and George Schappell -Credit:Getty Images

They previously made headlines when George, originally named Dori, came out as transgender. They became the first same-sex conjoined twins to identify as different genders after George came out as a transgender man in 2007.

At that point, George changed his name from Reba - a name he adopted to honour his idol Reba McEntire because he disliked their rhyming names - to George.

The twins lived independently in a two-bedroom flat in Pennsylvania, alternating between their separate hobbies. They took turns sleeping in each other's rooms and showered separately, using the shower curtain as a barrier while one stood outside the bath.

In interviews, Lori talked about the importance of independence and privacy for them. “I’m here in body, but that is it,” Lori described. “Just because we cannot get up and walk away from each other doesn’t mean we can’t have solitude from other people or from ourselves. People who are conjoined can have a very private life.”

The duo appeared on various shows, including Jerry Springer, The Maury Povich Show, and The Howard Stern Radio Show.

In previous interviews, when questioned about their desire to be separated, Lori and George consistently responded with a resounding no. "Would we be separated Absolutely not. My theory is: why fix what is not broken?" George expressed in a 1997 documentary.

“If you love the person you’re with and you respect them, you’re going to give them the privacy and compromise in situations that you would want them to give you,” George added.

Contrary to the predictions of medical experts who believed they wouldn't survive past their 30s, the twins proved them wrong.

In 2015, they became the oldest living conjoined twins that were born female, surpassing Masha and Dasha Krivoshlyapova, who passed away at the age of 53.

Lori and George leave behind their father, six siblings, and numerous nieces and nephews.

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