The World’s Oldest Conjoined Twins

Wednesday 18th March at 9:00pm on five

New Series

Five’s acclaimed documentary strand returns for a new run of programmes exploring some remarkable tales of human experience from across the globe. The series opens with the story of Ronnie and Donnie Galyon who, at 57 years old, are the oldest conjoined twins in the world. The cameras follow the brothers as they attempt to fulfil a lifelong dream of watching their favourite American football team play.

For nearly six decades, Ronnie and Donnie Galyon have been locked together in the same body. Joined from the base of the sternum down to the pelvis, the twins’ everyday life is full of co-operation and compromise, since even the simplest of tasks can pose a challenge. But having spent their lives facing each other, Ronnie and Donnie get through each day thanks to a well-rehearsed and specially choreographed routine.

They live on their own in Dayton, Ohio, but are heavily reliant on their younger brother Jim for help. “Jim has been a saint for Ronnie and Donnie,” explains Dr Glenn Kwiat, the family physician. “He’s their lifeline.” To ensure the twins live as normal a life as possible, Jim and his wife Mary regularly take them out for breakfast at a local diner. Here, Ronnie and Donnie are well known by the locals and can enjoy their food in peace. But with the twins’ health now declining, Jim wants to take them 800 miles away to help them fulfil a lifelong dream of watching the Dallas Cowboys play in Texas.

Despite sharing the same body, the twins have very different personalities. “They’re total opposites,” explains Jim. While Ronnie is happy-go-lucky, Donnie is more uptight, even stubborn, according to Jim. They both enjoy watching television, but do not like the same shows. Their disagreements often end in fights, but the pair would never dream of being separated. “We were born this way by God,” says Ronnie. “Let God separate us, not surgical knives.”

From the day they were born, the twins were bombarded with offers of work from fairs all over the USA. With nine children to support, their father, Wesley, made the difficult decision to take the twins on the road as a sideshow attraction. ButRonnie and Donnie loved life on the road. Their tours made them celebrities and brought them fame and fortune, with which they were able to support the rest of their family. “I’m proud of them for that,” says Jim.

In 1991, after three decades of work, the pair retired and moved into their first independent home. Despite being 39 at the time, the twins had never looked after themselves and needed a year of lessons from Jim to learn essential skills like cooking and housework. Over the last decade, however, the combination of weight gain and old age means that coping is becoming ever more difficult for the twins. “I think they feel somewhat trapped in that house,” says neighbour Scotty.

While they are still able to move, Jim is determined that his brothers will make it to their first football game. “This is a once in a lifetime thing,” he says. “They’re totally stoked.” When the time for the trip arrives, the twins are very excited. “Got up at 4 o’clock, had a shower and I’m ready to boogie!” says Donnie as he and his brother are helped into Jim’s specially adapted car.

Once away from their own neighbourhood, Ronnie and Donnie are attracting a lot of attention –but Jim is more worried about getting the twins onto the plane. However, he will not let a minor inconvenience like fitting onto the plane get in his way. “If all else fails, we’re driving to Dallas,” he says. Luckily, the airline crew have allowed the twins three seats in a row and they manage to make it safely to their destination. After an anxious wait to repair the special wheelchair that was damaged in transit, Jim, Mary, Ronnie and Donnie arrive at the stadium. But the brothers’ loyalty may yet be divided, with the twins supporting the Cowboys and Jim rooting for their opponents, the Bengal Tigers.

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  • chris paterson

    i like this, my two favourite things are men and twins. Double the fun and half the trouble.:D. small query, do you think ronnie and donnie are up for meeting up, maybe a meal, maybe more?;)

    many thanks
    x (one for ronnie) x (one for donnie)

  • chris paterson here is my email for any responses

  • Sailor number4

    I’m not sure about those handsome men, but I’m certainly free.
    Give me a call, I’m sure we can arrange something, i like it both ways.
    so gimme a ring, and I’ll give you my ring ;).

    x x x

    p.s if you want my number e-mail

    look forward to meeting you, no more lonely nights with only a pot of Vaseline to keep me company.

  • chris paterson

    give me a ring as soon as you can 😉
    i cant wait…
    *licks lips*

  • Sailor number4

    ooh, Chris, you get me sooooo horny, i am at work now though :(, i’ll ring as soon as i can, but i can email you if you would prefer?

    X X X I can’t wait to meet you!!

  • Sailor number1

    Hello Sailor number4, I am Sailor number1. I out-rank you by three, and thus command you to scrub MY deck ;). no teeth.

  • adam tull

    i am chris’s boyfriend and i am shocked that the man i love would go behind my back and flirt with such vulgar people on the internet. After many months of a faithful relationship i am deeply hurt that i would receive raunchy emails not from chris, but addressed too him asking for cyber cock and bum fun!
    i hope you are all pleased you have destroyed a loving relationship forever, and that you are welcome to the cheating whore. He’s not that great at it, so don’t get your hopes up, either of you sailors.

  • Sailor number4

    I don’t understand, is this a joke?
    I merely was looking for some arse-play, but if you are against it, i most certainly don’t want to inconvenience you; you may join us if you wish, i have always wanted a same-sex threesome, maybe i could get some of my leather bears in to give us a real orgy feel.
    I just want some penis, i think we all do; every body likes a bit of arse. Tits are for losers! BRING ON THE KINK!

    and Sailor number1, i think we’ve already met ;). have you been to the pink oboe?

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