US conjoined brothers to mark a milestone after 63 years together
July 5, 2014, 12:00 am TWN
BEAVERCREEK, Ohio -- Ohio brothers hoping to be recognized later this year as the world's oldest conjoined twins plan to celebrate Saturday as they hit a milestone they've been looking forward to for years.
Donnie and Ronnie Galyon of Beavercreek will be 62 years, 8 months and 7 days old, and they'll have outlived Eng and Chang Bunker, the famous 19th century "Siamese Twins."
"They are talking about it constantly, day in and day out," their younger brother, Jim Galyon, told the Dayton Daily News as he planned a celebratory block party. "They've been marking their calendar off every day, counting down to the day, so it's a huge life event for Donnie and Ronnie."
What they really want, though, is recognition from Guinness World Records. That could happen in October, when they would turn 63 and pass the record held by conjoined twins from Italy.
"It's what me and Donnie's always dreamed about, and we hope to get the ring, because we've dreamed about getting this since we were kids," Ronnie Galyon told the newspaper.
The brothers, who are joined at the abdomen, live with Jim and his wife in Beavercreek. The couple began caring for the twins around the clock four years ago, when the men were in poor health and the community helped with a US$170,000 renovation to the home.
"It was to the point where they couldn't do anything on their own anymore," Jim Galyon told the Dayton paper.
The twins performed in carnival sideshows and circuses until retiring in 1991 and now spend most of their time in a special bed created by a team from Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital in Grand Rapids, Michigan, The Grand Rapids Press reported. The slightly offset backrests face each other, and the twins relax with their legs splayed, rather than taking turns lying on top of each other on a queen-sized bed as they used to do.
Their health has improved in recent years, and their sister-in-law Mary Galyon credits the bed as one factor.
Now they're regularly able to get up on their own, and they take outings such as fishing, baseball games and visiting restaurants, the Michigan paper reported.