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Tuesday, Jul 8, 2014

YourHealth, World

US conjoined twins outlive Chang and Eng

Reuters | Tuesday, Jul 8, 2014

Double joy: Donnie and Ronnie Galyon turned 62 years, eight months and eight days old on Saturday.

CLEVELAND - The world's oldest conjoined twins celebrated surpassing the lifespan of the original "Siamese Twins" on Saturday, with a celebration in Ohio.

Donnie and Ronnie Galyon turned 62 years, eight months and eight days old, thereby outliving Chang and Eng Bunker, conjoined twins who lived from 1811 to 1874.

The Bunkers were born in Siam, now Thailand.

A party for the Galyons was held in their hometown of Dayton, Ohio.

They are joined at the sternum and share organs, which became an issue four years ago when Ronnie was sick with a virus that affected Donnie's health as well.

The twins live with their younger brother, Jim Galyon, and his wife, Mary.

Mr Jim Galyon said his older brothers toured with their father, and at times seven other siblings, as a "human oddity" until the shows fell out of fashion in the 1970s.

They later travelled in Mexico and Latin America.

"They were on the road from (age) four to 40," Mr Jim Galyon said. "They did their time."

They aim to break the Guinness World Records as the longest-lived conjoined twins when they turn 63 in October, their brother said.

According to the Guinness website, the longest-living twins, Giacomo and Giovanni Battista Tocci of Italy, were born in 1877 and died at 63.

"It has been a lifelong goal to reach this age," Mr Jim Galyon said.

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