Conjoined Twins Chang and Eng: Fathers of 21 Children

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Conjoined Twins

 

Chang and Eng, the renowned conjoined twins born in 1811 in Thailand, known as Siam during their time, left an indelible mark on history by fathering a total of 21 children throughout their lives. Their unique condition coined the term ‘Siamese Twins,’ which has been used to describe conjoined twins since then.

The Lives of Conjoined Twins Chang and Eng

Their early life was marked by uncertainty, as historical accounts suggest their mother may have sold them into slavery, a grim reality for many during that era. Despite these challenges, Chang and Eng became global celebrities, captivating audiences across the United States, Canada, Cuba, and Europe for a decade, even meeting the King of Siam along the way.

Upon reaching adulthood, they gained control of their careers and amassed considerable wealth, settling in Mount Airy, North Carolina, where they purchased a farm. Despite offers for separation surgery, they opted to remain conjoined, living their lives attached by a small band of flesh.

In an extraordinary move to protect their spouses’ privacy, Chang and Eng maintained separate households, rotating visits to each spouse every three days. This arrangement allowed them to balance their time equally between their families.

Their legacy extends beyond their remarkable bond; Chang and Eng married sisters, Adelaide and Sarah Yates, respectively, and became naturalized citizens of the United States under the surname Bunker. Together with their wives, they raised an unprecedented 21 children, a record for conjoined twins.

Their passing in 1874 marked the end of a remarkable journey, with Chang preceding Eng in death by a brief interval. Despite the challenges they faced, their story serves as a testament to resilience and the enduring bonds of family, leaving an enduring legacy in medical history and beyond.