Four years after community members rallied to build an addition to their brother’s house, the world’s oldest living conjoined twins, Ronnie and Donnie Galyon, are healthy and approaching a milestone they’ve eyed for years.
“Put it this way, I’m stoked,” Ronnie Galyon, 62, said Wednesday.
The Gaylons, who are joined at their abdomen, are expected to surpass the lifespan of Chang and Eng Bunker, the world’s first known conjoined twins, this weekend, and their brother Jim Galyon is planning a block party to celebrate the accomplishment.
“They are talking about it constantly, day in and day out,” Jim Galyon said. “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.”
Jim Galyon and his wife, Mary, have cared for the twins at their Winthrop Drive home for the past four years, when Ronnie and Donnie moved in after a $170,000 renovation to the residence.
“It was to the point where they couldn’t do anything on their own anymore,” said Jim Galyon.
At that point, Ronnie and Donnie had been hospitalized in intensive care for three weeks after Ronnie developed blood clots in his lungs and other illnesses hampered the brothers.
The new addition to the home has allowed Jim and Mary Galyon to provide 24-7 care to the twins since they moved in.
“You’re on call 24-7, so even if they need something in the middle of the night or whenever, you’ve got to be there,” Mary Galyon said. “It’s amazing, I mean, just to see the brothers together. This is our family.”
The Galyon twins thought they would break the Guinness world record for oldest conjoined twins when they surpassed the Bunkers in age, but as the Dayton Daily News discovered, Italian conjoined twins Giacomo and Giovanni Battista Tocci were the oldest ever at 63, according to Guinness.
The Dayton Daily News contacted officials at Guinness, and a spokeswoman told the newspaper the organization anticipates recognizing the twins in October when they turn 63 and surpass the Battista Toccis record.
Acknowledgement from Guinness World Records is what the two brothers have been looking forward to for years.
“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 said.
The block party celebration for the twins surpassing the Bunkers will be held this Saturday from 3 to 8 p.m.
By Drew Simon - Dayton Daily News, Ohio (MCT)
©2014 the Dayton Daily News (Dayton, Ohio)
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