Abby and Brittany Hensel: 5 things you should know about the conjoined twins from TLC's new show
The twins are no strangers to media scrutiny, having had TLC specials, appeared on Oprah, and even graced the cover of Time Magazine as children. As teenagers, they withdrew from media spotlight, hoping that their TLC specials would answer strangers' questions enough to allow them to lead fairly normal social lives. As fans will see when "Abby and Brittany" debuts -- they've succeeded in that, with plenty of friends and a surprisingly normal life.
Still, given the girls' extraordinary circumstance, there are bound to be some questions. Here are five things you should know about the Hensel twins before you check out the show, which premieres August 28 at 10 p.m. on TLC.
1. Abby controls the right side of the body while Brittany controls the left. Their anatomy is, obviously, quite complicated. They have two hearts with one shared circulatory system, four lungs, two stomachs, etc, but they share most organs below the navel. While they were born with three arms, one was removed surgically, so each controls one.
2. They're incredibly in sync. Though the twins have separate brains and claim that they can't read each others' mind, their twintuition is extraordinary. The girls can speed-type emails without speaking to each other - even though they each only controls one hand. They even play the piano.
3. They have drivers' licenses. The girls had to take separate driving tests to get separate licenses even though they both have to work together to operate the car!
4. They've never considered being separated. Once, when Brittany was sick as a very young child, Abby got bored with being stuck in bed and she complained that she wanted to split -- but that was the only time it's ever come up. Their parents, Patty and Mike, didn't want them confined to wheelchairs or to experience the major health concerns that would come with separating their bodies.
5. Though they don't discuss their dating lives, both girls hope to get married one day, and because their shared reproductive organs are healthy, there is no medical reason why they wouldn't be able to have a successful pregnancy.