Becoming a parent is considered one of the happiest and the single most significant moments in one’s life. However, for this Minnesota couple, Patty and Mike Hensel, the day they became parents was a total game-changer. The new parents welcomed not one, but two babies in one body–conjoined twins. Despite the discouraging prognosis and all the hardships the twins, Abby and Brittany, and their family have faced, they continue to beat all the odds and amaze us with their touching, heartwarming and, above all, life-affirming story.
Who Are Brittany & Abby?
Born on March 7th, 1990, in Carver County, Minnesota, Abigail Loraine Hensel and Brittany Lee Hensel are one of the rare cases of conjoined twins that survived birth and managed to live a somewhat normal life. They were born to parents Patty, a registered nurse, and Mike Hensel, a carpenter and landscaper and were raised in New Germany, Minnesota together with their two younger siblings, a brother and a sister.
Despite all the struggles, their parents tried to provide their little girls with everything all the other kids had and experienced, maybe even more. They attended Mayer Lutheran High School in Mayer and they even graduated from college. The twins have also become media personalities, appearing on The Oprah Winfrey Show and TV documentaries Joined for Life and Joined at Birth and they also featured on the cover of Life magazine under the caption “One Body, Two Souls”.
Moreover, the girls starred in their own reality show Abby & Brittany that premiered in August 2012. All this media coverage put a lot of pressure on the girls and sometimes caused unwanted attention, but it did help us understand what life looks like for conjoined twins and it raised awareness about this rare, yet serious condition. And if it hadn’t been for all that media attention, we wouldn’t have even heard about these two wonderful young ladies. And trust us – their life story is worth reading! Let’s start from the beginning…