World's oldest conjoined twins who had 'private lives' die aged 62

Schappell twins, conjoined brother and sister

The world's oldest conjoined twins, Lori and George Schappell, have sadly passed away at the age of 62. The pair, who were born with partially-fused skulls and shared 30 per cent of their brains, defied medical predictions that they wouldn't live past 30.

While Lori was able-bodied, George, who had spina bifida, used a wheelchair which his twin pushed around. George enjoyed 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.

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

The twins, who lived independently in their two-bedroom flat in Pennsylvania, had a unique arrangement that allowed them to maintain their individuality. They would take turns sleeping in each other's rooms and even managed privacy while showering by using the shower curtain as a partition.

Lori often spoke about the significance of their independence and privacy. "I'm here in body, but that is it," she said, highlighting their ability to lead private lives despite being conjoined. "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 pair became familiar faces on television, featuring on programmes such as Jerry Springer, The Maury Povich Show, and The Howard Stern Radio Show.

When asked in past interviews about any wishes to be separated, Lori and George were adamant in their refusal. "Would we be separated Absolutely not. My theory is: why fix what is not broken? " George stated in a 1997 documentary.

George also spoke about the importance of mutual respect and privacy in their relationship. "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," he explained.

In 2015, Lori and George Schappell became the oldest living female conjoined twins, surpassing Masha and Dasha Krivoshlyapova, who died at the age of 53. The pair leave behind their father, six siblings, and a host of nieces and nephews.