The twins Lori and George Schappell were born in 1961 in the US state of Pennsylvania with their heads joined together – and yet lived long and fulfilling lives. The famous Siamese twins have died at the age of 62, it has now been announced. According to their obituaries, they died on April 7th at the University Hospital of Pennsylvania.

The Guinness World Records organization recognizes the deceased as the “oldest living conjoined twins and oldest female conjoined twins of all time.” They were nine years older than the second oldest pair of conjoined twins.

The Schappells’ gender is a story in itself: George decided in 2007 to live as a man from now on, something that, according to Guinness World Records, had never happened before with conjoined twins.

The siblings were also quite different in other ways – even though they shared 30 percent of their brains. George enjoyed success as a country singer, even performing in Japan and Germany, while Lori won bowling trophies. Lori also acted as George’s go-between and pushed his wheelchair because only she could walk herself.

Although they were forced to spend every minute together, the siblings still tried to lead individual lives. They lived together in a two-room apartment where everyone had their own space and took turns sleeping in one room and the other. While showering, they pulled the curtain between them to protect each other’s privacy. They also pursued different hobbies and Lori had several relationships.

But they didn’t want to be without each other either. When asked in a 1997 documentary whether they wished they were ever separated, George replied: “Should we be separated? Absolutely not. My theory is: Why fix what isn’t broken?” The Schappell twins have also appeared on talk shows such as the Jerry Springer Show and other TV formats over the years. And they far outlived all the medical predictions that predicted they wouldn’t live past 30.

Sources: Guinness World Records / Obituary