Everywhere you look there are people miraculously defying odds, and brothers Ronnie and Donnie Gaylon are two of them. At 61-years-old, they were considered “the oldest living conjoined twins” on earth.
However, that’s not the only record that Ronnie and Donnie broke. Only a couple of years later they received yet another title from the Guinness World Records as well.
Take a peek below into the lives of these fascinating siblings, who have spent more than six decades with their bodies joined together.
Ronnie and Donnie were born on Oct. 28, 1951, in Beavercreek, Ohio. They were connected at the torso and shared lower digestive organs, but had separate limbs, hearts, stomachs, and more.
After being delivered, the boys were hospitalized for two years with the plans of separation. However, when the doctors determined that the surgery would be risky, Ronnie and Donnie’s parents decided to keep them together.
Years later, the men expressed how happy they were with that decision. Ronnie told MLive:
“The good Lord made us. Let our savior do it.”
Conjoined twins aren’t something you see every day. In fact, Ronnie and Donnie were so unique that they took part in sideshows when they were little, which is how their family brought in money.
According to the University of Minnesota, approximately 1 in 200,000 live births is a set of conjoined twins.
For decades Ronnie and Donnie left strangers amazed both with their story and their lifestyle. Inside Edition met up with the brothers as they were celebrating their 61st birthdays, a rarity for their condition.
During the interview, we’re given an up-close look into some of the everyday details about the twins. For example, their sister-in-law, Mary, is the one who creates their four-legged-pants by sewing two pairs together.
When it comes to getting ready, Ronnie and Donnie shave each other, while their younger brother Jim (along with Mary) helps dress them. But one thing that the men insist on is having separate television sets.
Ronnie and Donnie travel around with their customized scooter in order to do errands. While they’ve endured many stares and cruel comments over the years, they’ve also experienced kindness as well.
A staff member at the Golden Nugget restaurant told Inside Edition:
“I love them because they’ve taken something that most of us probably could not deal with and they’ve dealt with it like kings, and they’re beautiful people.”
Reaching their 60s isn’t something that doctors believed would happen. However, the men certainly proved that miracles do occur and to never give up.
Their brother Jim explained:
“Every year for them is a milestone, frankly in that they weren’t expected to make it out of the hospital. A lot of it is their fighting spirit.”
They broke multiple records.
Back in 2009 was when the Gaylon brothers received their first Guinness World Records title of being “the oldest living conjoined twins” on the planet. Then in 2014, they were also called, “the longest-lived conjoined twins in history.”
Some siblings have a difficult time getting along, even seeing each other just on holidays. It’s pretty eye-opening to think that conjoined twins spend every moment of every day together, a reason why their stories leave everyone so intrigued.
You don’t want to miss Inside Edition’s coverage of Ronnie and Donnie’s 61st birthday, which you can see in the flashback segment below. May they have many more birthdays to come!
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