Conjoined twins Abby and Brittany Hensel: Where are they today?

Conjoined twins Abby and Brittany Hensel: Where are they today?

Abby and Brittany Hensel have been the centre of the world's attention since they were six years old. These American conjoined twins are joined to one torso. Many remember their TLC reality series, Abby & Brittany, which first aired on August 28, 2012.

hensel conjoined twins
The Hensel conjoined twins riding a bike. Photo: @abbyandbrittany
Source: Instagram

The Hensel twins are an inspiration to many worldwide. They consider themselves normal humans despite their challenges. The dicephalic parapagus twins coordinate their movements and understand each other's emotions. Abby and Brittany Hensel have tried to live normal lives as much as possible. The twins went to school and have had a white-collar job for about seven years. They also dream of getting married and having children.

Profile summary

Full namesAbigail Loraine Hensel and Brittany Lee Hensel
Famous asAbby and Brittany Hensel
Famous for beingConjoined twins
BornMarch 7, 1990
Zodiac sign Pisces
Age32 years (as of December 2022)
BirthplaceCarver County, Minnesota, USA
Raised atNew Germany, Minnesota, USA
FatherMike Hensel
High school Mayer Lutheran High School in Mayer, Arizona, USA
CollègeBethel University in St. Paul, Minnesota, USA
Graduation year2012
QualificationsBachelor of Arts degrees
Current residenceMinnesota, USA
CareerTeachers and former TV personalities
Place of work Sunnyside Elementary School
Workplace location New Brighton, Minnesota, USA
GradeFourth and Fifth grades
SubjectConcentration in math
Working duration2013 to present
TV showAbby & Brittany on TLC (2012)
Abby's height5 feet 2 inches (1.57 metres)
Brittany's height4 feet 10 inches (1.47 metres)
FacebookAbby and Brittany

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Abby and Brittany Hensel's biography

Abby and Brittany Hensel have different bodies joined at the ribcage. Hence, they share all body parts and organs below the pelvis, but each one has own head, spine, lungs, and stomach. The doctors removed a small arm that was between them.

The Siamese twins' childhood, age, and education

Abby and Brittany Hensel were born in Carver County, Minnesota, on March 7, 1990. Their mother, Patty, was a registered nurse, while the dad, Mike Hensel, worked as a carpenter/landscaper. The Siamese twins have a younger brother and sister.

Abby and Brittany grew up in New Germany, Minnesota. Their parents did not allow them to have a surgical separation at birth because there was a high chance they would have died.

The twins learnt to crawl, walk, and do everything together growing up. At age 12, Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare operated on them to correct their scoliosis, expand their chest cavity, and prevent breathing problems.

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Conjoined twins Abby and Brittany Hansel are 32 years old as of December 2022. They graduated from Mayer Lutheran High School in 2008 and earned Bachelor of Arts degrees from Bethel University in Arden Hills in 2012.

Abby and Brittany Hensel separated
Abby and Brittany Hensel lying on a grey mat. Photo: @abbyandbrittany
Source: Instagram

Abby and Brittany's organ distribution

Since Abby is taller than Brittany, the latter has to tiptoe for them to walk at the same level. The twins' upper bodies have separate organs. They share most organs at and below the navel, except the spine. Here is a summary of Abby and Brittany's organ distribution:

  • 2 heads
  • 4 lungs with the medial lungs moderately fused
  • 2 hearts with one circulatory system
  • 2 spines merging at the coccyx and joined at the thorax by some rib sections
  • 2 separate spinal cords
  • 2 arms (initially 3, but the rudimentary central arm was removed)
  • 2 breasts
  • 1 broad ribcage with 2 fused sternums and traces of bridging ribs
  • 1 diaphragm with well-coordinated involuntary breathing and slight central defect
  • 2 stomachs
  • 2 gallbladders
  • 2 separate half-sacrums (they converge distally)
  • 3 kidneys (2 left, 1 right)
  • 1 liver with an enlarged and elongated right lobe
  • A Y-shaped small intestine
  • 1 large intestine (one colon, r*ectum, and a*nus)
  • 1 bladder
  • 1 set of reproductive organs
  • 1 slightly broad pelvis
  • 2 legs

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conjoined twins Abby and Brittany Hensel
A photo of teenage twins Abby and Brittany Hensel. Photo: @Abby and Brittany
Source: Facebook

Abigail and Brittany Hensel's adult life

Conjoined twins Abby and Brittany anticipate each other's feelings with minimal verbal communication. They also coordinate efforts in everything they do. Abby and Brittany can run, walk, ride a bicycle, swim, type on a computer keyboard, play volleyball, drive a car, play the piano, and do more activities.

The twins have separate IDs and passed written and practical driver's license exams separately. Although they coordinate while driving, state law requires each to have a license. They usually have separate meals but share meals sometimes for convenience.

Brittany and Abby use their names when their responses differ and the first person "I" or "We" when they agree. Their teaching careers kicked off in 2013. The twins teach concertation in math at Sunnyside Elementary in New Brighton, Minnesota (as of 2022).

Abby and Brittany's media appearances

The conjoined twins have had interviews on these television shows:

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  • The Oprah Winfrey Show on CBS (1996)
  • Joined for Life on Disney Channel (2003)
  • Joined for Life: Abby and Brittany Turn 16 on TLC (2006)
  • Extraordinary People: The Twins Who Share a Body on Five (UK) (2007)

Abby & Brittany's reality show

The twins had a reality show, Abby & Brittany, on TLC in 2012. The show covered their college graduation ceremony and allowed them to share their challenges when going to school and seeking jobs.

They studied abroad in England during college and visited England and Italy with their college friends. The twins also did a student teaching stint in London.

Abby and Brittany landed teaching jobs in the US. In the beginning, they feared rejection from the children. It turned out that the students perceived them as an inspiration.

Did Abby and Brittany get married?

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Abby and Brittany said in a Discovery Channel interview that they hoped to date, get married, and have children. In 2012, the girls dismissed the rumour that Brittany was engaged. There are no Abby and Brittany Hensel's wedding pics to confirm the news.

Abby and Brittany Hensel
Abby and Brittany's graduation day. Photo: @Abby and Brittany Hensel
Source: Facebook

Can Abby and Brittany have children?

They can, but they do not have children as of December 2022. In some cases, the condition of conjoined twins cannot affect pregnancy, but they will give birth via cesarean section (C-section).

Can Abby and Brittany ever be separated?

Doctors would not have separated Abby and Brittany Hensel, even if it were possible. Each girl has her own vital organs, but one might die or have a worse quality of life than the other.

Was Brittany and Abby Hensel separated?

Their parents are against separation surgery. They prefer to have both girls alive and healthy. The surgery might kill or make one of them struggle to live.

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What happens when one of the Hensel twins dies?

The dead twin's blood stops pumping, and vessels dilate when her heart stops. The one alive will bleed into her dead sister or get infected (fall sick) within some hours.

Where is Abby and Brittany Hensel now?

The public wonders, "where are conjoined twins Abby and Brittany now?" People only know that they teach at an elementary school in New Brighton, Minnesota. They share a paycheck but receive double benefits and retirement. The girls dislike strangers photographing or gazing at them.

Brittany and Abby Hensel
Twins Abby and Brittany when they were toddlers. Photo: @Abby and Brittany Hensel
Source: UGC

What happened to Abby and Brittany Hensel?

There is little tell about Abby and Brittany Hensel today. The twins are still conjoined and are enjoying their teaching job in Minnesota. After their TLC reality show ended, they stepped away from the public eye in 2012.

Facts about conjoined twins Abby and Brittany Hensel

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Below are interesting things about Siamese twins Abby and Brittany:

  • Abby's head tilts outward about 5 degrees to the right.
  • Brittany's head tilts laterally at about 15 degrees to the left.
  • Brittany's leg is about two inches shorter than Abby's.
  • They jointly use their limbs where both hands/legs are needed.
  • Each twin manages one side of their conjoined body.
  • Each one's sense of touch is restricted to her body half.
  • Only one of them can feel stomach aches at a time.
  • Each girl types and responds to her emails.
  • Doctors stopped Abby's spine from growing via surgery after Brittany's prematurely stopped growing.
  • They wear custom-tailored clothes whose necklines fit each twin's neck.
  • Sometimes, they wear pants with different colours on each leg to let each choose her outfits.

When all is said and done, Abby and Brittany Hensel are a perfect example of what resilience and teamwork are all about. They are a great inspiration and worthy example of what people should do in times of adversity, and that is to rise up to the challenge.

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