Hensel Twins Are 5TH Grade Teachers - Abby and Britany Hensel’s Life & Hobbies in 2022

Busayo Ogunjimi
Aug 03, 2022
09:36 A.M.

The birth of conjoined twins Abby and Brittany Hensel intrigued many across the globe. Here's a glance at the girls' stories, from their everyday lives to romantic relationships and individual careers.


It is said that conjoined twins only occur in one of every 200,000 births, so naturally, Abby and Brittany Hensel's birth attracted worldwide attention as news outlets reported about them.

While their rare birth is a story of inspiration, their survival is a miracle in its own right. Up to 60% of conjoined twins are delivered stillborn, and doctors didn't expect the sisters to survive the night.

Abby and Brittany Hensel. | Source: YouTube/The 5 biggest - Montreal TV.

Abby and Brittany Hensel. | Source: YouTube/The 5 biggest - Montreal TV.


Many years ago, Patty, an emergency nurse, and her partner, Mike, a landscaper, and carpenter, were getting ready to become parents for the first time. As expected, the couple scheduled frequent visits to the doctor to determine their baby's condition.


Results from ultrasounds implied that Patty was carrying a single fetus and showed no rare congenital disabilities or conditions. Mike, the then-expectant father, had revealed that he heard two heartbeats, but his observation was soon dismissed, following the doctor's confirmation.

Patty's fetus was breached, so Cesarean surgery was her only option. When doctors delivered her child, they were astonished. The infant had one leg, buttocks, and two heads. While recounting the rare birth Dr. Joy Westerdahl, the family's physician, said, "We all stood in silence for about 30 seconds. It was extremely silent."

Screenshot of Abigail and Brittany Hensel in a documentary. | Source: Youtube/Documeaning

Screenshot of Abigail and Brittany Hensel in a documentary. | Source: Youtube/Documeaning

This was the story behind the birth of Abby and Brittany Hensel, born on March 7, 1990. The twins have had three decades of experience in the type of teamwork only a select few people in the world ever have. Joined at the hip, they have to coordinate every physical movement made.


However, Abby and Brittany have a split in shared and nonshared internal organs. At the same time, they each have their own spine, lungs, heart, and stomach. In addition, the pair share a large intestine, liver, and reproductive system.

The girls grew up on a farm in Minnesota, away from the press and reporters who would follow their every move and take stolen shots. They stayed with their parents, sister, and brother and lived a relatively normal life.

Screenshot of Abigail and Brittany Hensel in a documentary. | Source: Youtube/Documeaning

Screenshot of Abigail and Brittany Hensel in a documentary. | Source: Youtube/Documeaning

At first, their parents thought it would be challenging to care for the kids and explain their condition to family and friends, but once they noticed that they were healthy and would survive, they showered them with love and commitment.


So far, the girls have been living well; being surrounded by doting parents made it easier to live normally. At fifteen months, the girls stunned their family by learning to walk on their own!


According to Nancy Oltrogge, who looked after the girls at daycare, it was a miracle. Their teamwork bred their confidence in each other, and soon, they graduated from walking to other activities, including swimming and bike riding. In her words:

"We praised them so much. They knew what to do. "We just had to make sure we watched them because they were a little bit top-heavy and could tip over. All of a sudden, they're going in circles."



After the birth of Brittany and Abby, doctors talked to their parents and exposed them to the possibility of separating the girls' bodies. It was a tough decision to make, considering the risks implied.

The operation was dangerous for both girls, with the probability that one or none survived the surgery, so Abby and Brittany's parents immediately rejected the doctors' proposal.

Still, the girls regularly visited the hospital to ensure they were fit to do sports and other daily activities. Their doctor for many years was always fascinated with how their body worked and hoped the girls would live a long and normal life.


They have been as unified in love as they have been in body. It was only on one occasion that the twins considered separation.

This was during their childhood. Brittany had fallen ill and was bedridden while recovering from pneumonia. This left Abby feeling bored, as she was also in bed with her sister, so she suggested being separated from the other twin.

Naturally, Brittany began to feel alone and started to cry. Her sister was consumed with empathy that she comforted her and pledged that they would never be apart.



Abby and Brittany astounded medical experts with their prevailing well-being, but they grew very different in character and even in key physical aspects, like any two people.

The conjoined twins were only six years old when they appeared on an episode of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" in 1996 and landed their reality show.

Later, the girls' story was turned into a TLC documentary, "Abby & Brittany," where everyone watched as they prepared to graduate college and find a job.



From a young age, the twins had been inspired to dream big like everybody else. They never allowed their condition to restrain their hopes of a future. Abby talked about being a dentist while her sister marveled about piloting. Thankfully, they have a father who believed in them as much as they did.

At the time, he joked about their future expectations and boosted their confidence by assuring them that they would go on to have husbands. After all, "they're good-looking girls. They're witty. They've got everything going for them, except they're together," he said.

The twins went on to live a fulfilled life. They had a typical high school experience at Mayer Lutheran High School. Also, Brittany and Abby graduated in 2012 from Bethel University, Arden Hills, Minnesota.


Following graduation, they toured Europe, visiting their friends in England and Italy. The sisters showed off their adventurous side—riding through the streets on a bike.

This was not their first time away from home as they studied in Europe and even held a teaching stint in London. However, this was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. It was tagged the "last hurrah" before settling back in real life; getting a job.

As college graduates, they earned a degree in education before beginning their career as elementary teachers with an emphasis in mathematics.


The sisters' career choice as teachers was well suited since Brittany has an affinity for writing and the creative arts. Meanwhile, her sister's light shines in mathematics.

Although at first, the school was concerned about how their fifth-grade students would react to the conjoined twins, not the girls' teaching experience, as they seemed ready to work. Once it was determined that the students would have no problem with their unusual teachers, the women were allowed to engage with them.

The twins understood that while working as teachers at SunnySide Elementary, they would only receive a single salary because they only did the work of one person. But as they acquired experience, they intended to negotiate a little more.


They are proud of their degrees and ability to do things differently, even as teachers. The women explained that they could do more than one person with time, adding that while one person teaches, the other would monitor and take questions.

Interestingly, they are not the only ones who feel confident about their achievements. Their boss, Paul Good, felt impressed by their work ethics and principles. He said:

"I don't think there's anything they won't try or something that they couldn't be able to do if they really wanted to. To bring that to children, especially kids who might be struggling, that's very special, that's learnt through lived example."



The twins have shown that they can achieve the unthinkable and live a happy life through teamwork. In 2012, the sisters revealed that they own driver's licenses. Their driving test was taken separately, and they passed it. Despite the individual driving documents, they partner to get their vehicle moving.

Brittany confirmed that she is in charge of the blinkers while her sister controls the brakes and checks the gas. Then, together, they steer the wheels.

Despite the unity, they respond differently to some things. For example, while Abby can gulp down as many coffee drinks as possible, her sister experiences increased heart rate whenever she tries such. The girls also have different body temperatures. Abby gets hot faster than her sister.


Their styling is also different. Abby and Brittany's clothes are customized to fit their necklines. They also wear different outfits and shoes to display their unique fashion sense on each leg. The sisters are treated individually among loved ones and family, but in some cases, they appear as one.

For instance, when the girls travel on a plane, they always purchase one ticket, even though they have two passports. This is because they fit in one seat. Moving around is not always easy, either at the airports or in the streets. However, the girls are surrounded by loving people, ready to help them through the crowd.

Their friend, Erin Junkans, admitted that they often get attention wherever they go but that she tries not to make them completely exposed. Junkans is always on alert and shields them from unwanted photos.



Mike and Patty have always been conscious of their children's differences, so they encouraged the twins to identify with their unique personalities.

Over the years, Abby and Brittany have shown that they are two sisters living in one body. They possess distinct personalities, traits, likes, and dislikes, apart from their expertise as teachers.

Abby is not scared of heights, and she is an extrovert. On the other hand, Brittany is petrified of heights and prefers to be laid back; however, she has an odd sense of humor. The ladies also have different tastes in just about anything. They argue about clothes or shoes, but eventually, an equal amount of agreement between them is often required.


Brittany is also the shorter one of the two at 1.47m. Since their legs are of different lengths, Abby's height of 1.57m requires tiptoe balancing on her sister's part. The Minnesota-born twins also have plans in the emotional aspect, and like all girls, they dream about marrying their Prince Charming and starting a family one day.

The sisters prefer keeping their dating status private, but Brittany assured during an interview that she and Abby are "totally different people," while Abby added :

"Yeah, we are going to be moms one day, but we don't want to talk about how it's going to work yet."


The girls lived a private life, but in 2012, a rumor about Brittany's alleged engagement circulated. Upon hearing about the gossip, the girls shut down the rumor but did not speak about it further.

With the life they live, both Abby and Brittany have gained much wisdom. They are fully aware of people's curiosity and know well enough to be selective of what they share.

The sisters co-own an Instagram account with about eight four thousand followers. From 2012 to 2015, they updated a few photos, sharing their everyday routine. But for more than five years, they have refused to post any image and appear to be living under the radar.

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