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Lori and George Schappell, Long-Surviving Conjoined Twins, Die at 62

Lori and George Schappell, conjoined twins whose skulls were partly fused but who managed to lead independent lives, died on April 7 in Philadelphia. They were 62.

Their death, at a hospital, was announced by a funeral home, which did not cite a cause.

Dr. Christopher Moir, a professor of surgery at the Mayo Clinic, who has been on teams that separated six sets of conjoined twins — although none of them were joined at the head — said that when one of the Schappells died, the other would have almost certainly followed quickly.

“Conjoined twins share circulation, he said, “so unless you somehow emergently divide their connection, it’s absolutely a fatal, nonviable process.”

The Schappells lived much longer than had been expected when they were born as craniopagus twins, joined at the head, which is rare. They were cited as the second-oldest conjoined twins ever by Guinness World Records.

They were connected at the sides of their foreheads and looked in opposite directions. Lori was able-bodied and pushed George, who had spina bifida, on a stool that had wheels. George was born female and changed her name in the 1990s to Reba, for the country singer Reba McEntire, but later identified as a trans male.

The conjoined twins Lori, left, and George Schappell in 2003.Credit…John A. Secoges/Reading Eagle, via Associated Press

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