The world’s oldest conjoined twins celebrated their 63rd birthday recently with a trip to Florida’s Disney World. Ronnie and Donnie Galyon, of Ohio, unofficially became the record holders on the day after they turned 63 on October 28.
The Galyon twins broke the previous record held for more than seven decades by Giacomo and Giovanni Battista Tocci — Italian conjoined twins who were born in 1877 and lived to be 63. Ronnie and Donnie celebrated the record with a block party they threw in their hometown of Beavercreek, just outside of Dayton.
Relatives of the twins, who are veterans of the circus and carnivals, say that they are enjoying their time in the spotlight. Their brother, Jim Galyon, told MLive.com:
It’s a lifelong dream, and they are absolutely loving it.
Jim took his brothers to Florida as their birthday gift and the three spent the birthday visiting Disney World and Busch Gardens. (Scroll down for the video.)
1. Meet Ronnie and Donnie Galyon, the world’s unofficial oldest-living conjoined twins. They celebrated their 63rd birthday in October.
2. The Galyons (pictured above in July) beat out the previous record holders, Italian twins Giacomo and Giovanni Battista Tocci, who were born in 1877 and lived to be 63. The Toccis held the record for more than 70 years.
3. The twins live outside Dayton, Ohio with their younger brother Jim (pictured in July).
The brothers spent Christmas together in the house Ronnie and Donnie share with their brother Jim and his wife, Mary. Jim said:
We have a lot to be grateful for. They are really healthy.
The twins have not yet received their official certificate confirming they’re the longest-living conjoined twins in history from the Guinness World Records, but they are already living as if they’re in the first place.
Ronnie and Donnie are joined at the waist and are facing each other. They have four arms and four legs and two hearts and stomachs but share a lower digestive tract, a groin, a rectum and penis, over which Donnie has control.
The twins were born in Dayton, Ohio, in October 1951 and stayed in the hospital for two years as doctors were trying to figure out how to separate them. When they could not guarantee that both babies would survive an operation to part them, the twins’ parents said they would stay as they were.
The twins agree that it was the best decision. Ronnie has said:
The good Lord made us. Let our savior do it.
The twins supported their family by performing in carnival sideshows in the U.S. and circuses throughout Central and South America when they were as young as four.
When they tried to go to school, teachers told them to go home because they were too distracting to the other students. The twins continued to work at circuses where they performed magic tricks and were treated “like rock stars”, Jim Galyon told MLive.com.
Ronnie and Donnie retired in 1991 at the age of 39 and moved to Beavercreek to be close to Jim, who is younger by 11 years.
4. Jim and his wife Mary, who share a house with Ronnie and Donnie, enjoy a sunny July day with Ronnie and Donnie (file photo).
5. Ronnie and Donnie (pictured in July) supported their family from the age of four by performing in carnival sideshows in the U.S. and circuses throughout Central and South America.
6. They had trouble sleeping for years, but received a custom-designed bed that Ronnie says allowed him to ‘sleep like a baby’.
And here are a couple of videos of the twins:
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