World’s Oldest Conjoined Twins, George And Lori, Pass Away At 62, Leaving Impressive Legacy

In the past month, the topic of conjoined twins has garnered worldwide focus, with news of marriage, petty scandals, and witty informative content. However, today, reports of a much sadder situation emerged, with the announcement that the oldest conjoined twins in the world passed away at the age of 62 at the University of Pennsylvania Hospital, USA on April 7, 2024.

Lori and George Schappell were born on September 18, 1961 in Pennsylvania. The siblings were recognized for multiple achievements, including the fact that George, born Dori, performed as a country singer.

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George’s gender transition was highlighted by Guinness World Records, making him and Lori the first set of conjoined twins to identify as different genders.

Moreover, George notably designed support equipment for people with physical disabilities, including a specialized wheelchair and a mobility aid for dogs.

Lori acted as George’s facilitator and worked in a laundry, arranging her workload around his singing commitments. She was also described as a trophy-winning bowler. 

The siblings appeared in a number of television documentaries, and talk shows, and even landed an acting gig in an episode of Nip/Tuck, in which they played conjoined twins Rose and Raven Rosenberg.

Lori and George Schappell, the world’s oldest conjoined twins, passed away at the age of 62 on April 7, 2024

Image credits: Susan Watts/NY Daily News Archive

The twins were craniopagus conjoined twins, which meant that they were joined at the head, but had very different personalities and lived individual lives. 

George was also unable to walk due to spina bifida, a condition that affects the spine.

In the first 24 years of their life, the siblings lived in an institution for the mentally disabled, even though they did not have any mental disability.

In a 2011 interview with The Sun, Lori said: “We learned to look after ourselves from a very young age and got excellent grades at school.”

Upon turning 24, the Schappells began living on their own after they turned and resided for many years in a high-rise apartment for the elderly, without any assistance, in Reading, Pennsylvania.

They lived in a two-bedroom apartment, with each maintaining a distinct private space, while also having several pets.

George’s gender transition, highlighted by Guinness World Records, made him and Lori the first set of conjoined twins to identify as different genders

Image credits: True Lives

As explained in a 1997 documentary, the siblings alternated spending time in separate bedrooms to let each other have their own personal space.

Additionally, they explained that they had different bathing schedules, so they showered one at a time.

George said in the 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.”

Lori further explained: “It’s the whole thing, compromise.

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“And that you don’t get everything you want right when you want it.”

When asked whether they wanted to be separated, George replied: ”Absolutely not. My theory is: Why fix what is not broken?”

George was also unable to walk due to spina bifida, consequently, Lori acted as her brother’s facilitator

Image credits: True Lives

It was in 2007 that George began living as a transgender man. In the same interview with the Sun, he admitted: “I have known from a very young age that I should have been a boy.

“It was so tough, but I was getting older and I simply didn’t want to live a lie.

“I knew I had to live my life the way I wanted.”

Lori recalled at the time: “Obviously it was a shock, but I am so proud of him.

“It was a huge decision, but we have overcome so much in our lives and together we are such a strong team.

“Nothing can break that.”

The twins reportedly respected each other’s privacy in terms of work time, recreation, and relationships, with Lori notably having several boyfriends and becoming engaged, before losing her fiancé in a motor-vehicle accident.

In The Sun interview, which honored their 50th birthday at the time, Lori confessed: “When I went on dates, George would bring along books to read and, as we don’t face each other, he could ignore any kissing.”

After Lori lost her virginity to her second boyfriend at 23, George said he was able to “act like I’m not even there” while she was with a partner.

As explained in a 1997 documentary, they each maintained a distinct private space

Image credits: True Lives

As Lori and George’s skulls were connected, sharing a blood supply, and about 30 percent of their brain together, their condition was recognized as the rarest form of conjoined twins, making only two and six percent of cases.

Lori told The Sun in 2011: “Just because we cannot get up and walk away from each other, doesn’t mean we cannot have solitude from other people or ourselves.”

Living until 62, the twins were able to surpass all medical expectations set when they were born, with healthcare professionals giving them a 30-year-old prognosis.

The Leibensperger Funeral Homes in Berks County posted obituaries last week for both, saying they died on April 7 at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. Their cause of death was not stated, the Inquirer reported.

Lori and George are survived by their father and six siblings, with their funeral services reportedly remaining private.

“Glad they lived so long,” a reader commented

The post World’s Oldest Conjoined Twins, George And Lori, Pass Away At 62, Leaving Impressive Legacy first appeared on Bored Panda.
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