Graveyard Shift
227.2k readers

Here’s What Happens In The Tragic Case That One Conjoined Twin Dies

Updated June 14, 2019 227.2k views12 items

When people wonder what it is like to live as a conjoined twin, they are usually thinking about the physicality of existing as two separate people connected, potentially sharing organs and sensations. Naturally, a lot of people have borderline-invasive questions concerning the intimate and romantic lives of conjoined twins. Many folks also have a morbid curiosity surrounding the question of what happens if one conjoined twin perishes.

It's a tricky question with complicated answers that are dependent on the way the twins are connected. Often, once one conjoined twin passes, be it from natural causes or an unintentional incident, their twin follows in their ghostly footsteps rather quickly. Sometimes it takes mere hours, other times a few days, but the unfortunate reality is once one conjoined twin is gone, the other has a limited amount of time left on this earth.

  • Twins Chang And Eng Bunker Passed Within Hours Of Each Other

    Photo: CatherineMunro / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

    Chang and Eng Bunker were born in Siam in 1811 and were the reason conjoined twins were called "Siamese twins" for so long. The two brothers were connected at the sternum by a small piece of cartilage and shared a liver. After starting their lives on display, the brothers bought some land in North Carolina, married a pair of sisters, and had 21 children between them.

    In 1874, Eng awoke to find his brother had passed in his sleep from a blood clot. Supposedly, Eng said, "Then I am going" - before passing three hours later of pulmonary edema and heart failure.

  • Violet And Daisy Hilton Succumbed To The Flu - Four Day Apart

    Born in 1908 England, Violet and Daisy Hilton were conjoined at the pelvis. Sold by their mother to her employer, Mary Hilton, the girls were taken on tour as a curiosity and musical act. When Mary passed, the girls worked for her daughter before winning their freedom. 

    Finding themselves stranded in North Carolina in 1961, Violet and Daisy began working at a grocery store until eight years later when they didn't show up for a few days. Their boss alerted police who found the sisters deceased. After an autopsy, it was estimated Daisy perished from the flu and then Violet survived another two to four days before succumbing to either the flu or infection from the corpse of her sister.

  • Simplicio And Lucio Godina Passed 12 Days Apart From Different Ailments

    In 1908, Simplicio and Lucio Godina were born attached back-to-back by skin and cartilage in the pelvic region. The twins were on tour in America when they caught the eye of wealthy Filipino Teodoro Yangco, who adopted them. The boys were well-educated and went on to marry a set of identical twin sisters.

    Lucio passed from rheumatic fever on November 24, 1936. Doctors performed an emergency separation and successfully removed Simplicio from his deceased brother. Unfortunately, Simplicio passed a couple of weeks later from spinal meningitis.

  • Millie And Christine McKoy Succumbed To Tuberculosis

    Millie and Christine McKoy were born as slaves in 1851. They were sold many times in their lives and were exhibited all over the world. They were touted as "The Two-Headed Nightingale," "The Eighth Wonder of the World," and as "the Carolina Twins."

    After retiring from their career, the two women lived in North Carolina until 1912 when both sisters passed from tuberculosis. Millie passed first and Christine followed her 12 hours later.