Who Are Abby and Brittany Hensel- Catch Up With the Conjoined Twins and Former Reality Stars

Conjoined Twin Abby Hensel is Married

Abby Hensel and Brittany Hensel are back in the spotlight.

More than a decade after their TLC series Abby & Brittany ended, the sisters, who are among the longest-living dicephalic parapagus conjoined twins ever at 34, have reentered the zeitgeist amid the news that Abby tied the knot with Josh Bowling in 2021. 

Abby, who is on the left in photographs, and Brittany, who is on the right, first gained national attention during a 1996 appearance on the The Oprah Winfrey Show. The duo was born to Mike Hensel and Patty Hensel in 1990, and have two younger siblings, Morgan and Cody. During their conversation with Oprah Winfrey, the then-6-year-old sisters explained their dynamic, and how they're able to do some things separately—like sleep, eat, and, of course, talk (although they do tend to speak in unison, sometimes, too).  

Who Are Abby and Brittany Hensel- Catch Up With the Conjoined Twins and Former Reality Stars

And as for when they disagree, the girls explained at the time, "We flip a coin."

photosStars Reveal the Secrets Behind Their Long-lasting Marriages

Anatomically, Abby and Brittany are joined from the belly button down. Professor Nick Fisk, who followed the twins' case since their birth, explained in the 2007 documentary Extraordinary People: The Twins Who Share a Body that they each have their own heart, set of lungs, a stomach, and a kidney. However, they share a colon, rectum, reproductive organs and bladder. Their body temperatures are also separate—and Abby tends to run hotter than Brittany.

"It's so weird," Abby explained on Abby & Brittany, which ran for one season in 2012. "I get super hot way faster, and there's a distinct red line all the way down—legitimately—my legs are sweating, everything. It's awful, and she's fine."

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The women operate one body together. Abby controls the right side and Brittany controls the left, meaning their coordination has always been highly in sync with one another. In fact, they were able to play basketball, softball and even got separate drivers licenses when they were 16 (Abby controls the pedals and gear shift, Brittany controls the blinker and the lights, and they both steer). 

"We each had to take the test," they noted on their TLC series. "We both passed—obviously."

Other than their brief stint on reality television and documentaries, the sisters have maintained privacy in their native Minnesota, now living with Abby's husband Josh, and his 8-year-old daughter Isabella, while teaching fifth grade at an elementary school. 

Although they are extremely close, and perform things like work and driving in unison, the twins and their loved ones have emphasized their desire to be treated as two separate people.

"We are totally different people," Brittany added in their 2007 documentary. "We usually bargain with each other like, ‘If you do this, I'll do that.' Or we take turns."

And Abby agreed, "We take turns a lot."

Read on to learn more about Abby and Brittany.

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