The oldest male conjoined twins in history have passed away. Guinness World Records stated Tuesday that Ronnie and Donnie Galyon, who established the record in 2014, passed away on Saturday at the age of 68 due to “a deterioration in their health over the last 10 years.”
The Associated Press reported that they passed away from congestive heart failure. The two, who are from Beavercreek, Ohio, about 10 miles southeast of Dayton, were linked at the abdomen when they were born in 1951.
The perceived “high risk” of separating them kept them together for the entirety of their lives. Despite the fact that many people viewed them as a couple, Guinness noted that they actually had quite distinct personalities, with one being laid-back and the other fiery, and even had opposing political views.
Even their heights were different, with Donnie standing at 5 feet, 5 inches, and Ronnie at 5 feet, 8 inches. [Twins split at Vatican hospital after being linked at the head]
On a 1998 edition of “Guinness World Records Primetime,” the Galyon twins were highlighted. The two performed in circuses, as well as touring side shows and carnivals, beginning when they were young and continuing until their retirement in 1991.
According to Jim, their younger brother, their family was long-term sustained by their money.
In their latter years, the record-breaking pair moved in with Jim and his wife Mary and needed a special two-person wheelchair because of their declining health. According to a 2010 article in the Dayton Daily News, over 200 residents volunteered to help with the twins’ housing extension at Jim’s house. Because of their arthritis, they couldn’t safely live alone.
The makeover would provide the two more space to move about in, as opposed to forcing them to sit on the floor as they frequently did, Jim noted at the time.
Next week’s ceremony will also see the burial of Ronnie and Donnie in a personalized coffin. Jim told AP, “They made 68, and they couldn’t ask for anything more.” Their bodies were worn out, and the moment had come.
Ronnie and Donnie officially surpassed their idols Chang and Eng Bunker by reaching 63 in 2014, making them the oldest conjoined twins ever and living (male). At the age of 62 years and 251 days, the Bunker twins passed away in 1874.
The Galyons even outlived Giacomo and Giovanni Battista Tocci, who were popularly believed to have reached the age of 63 as well.