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Doctor: Siamese Twin Eng Bunker Died of Fright

Dec. 4, 1962 - A doctor said today an old autopsy report indicated that Eng, one of the “original” Siamese twins (pictured in 1865), died of fright a few hours after the death of his brother, Chang. Dr. Worth B. Daniels, professor of medicine at Georgetown University Medical School, said he had found the autopsy report in a medical book in an antique shop. He said one of the doctors who had performed the autopsy wrote: “Chang died of cerebral clot. Eng probably died of fright as his extended bladder seemed to point to a profound emotional disturbance of the nervous system.” The Siamese twins were brought to the U.S. in 1829 and exhibited widely in the U.S. and Europe. They eventually became U.S. citizens and settled in North Carolina after marrying two sisters, daughters of a Virginia clergyman, who bore them large families. Although they were joined at the lower part of the breastbone, the attachment — largely cartilage and ligaments — stretched and became so pliable that they could stand side by side. However, the autopsy showed the attachment band also contained a continuation of the pouch lining the abdominal cavity, an extension of liver substance from each abdomen, and some vein and small nerve connections. In 1874, Chang complained of pains in his chest. He died soon after. According to the old medical reports, Eng cried out that his hour had come when he knew Chang was dead. He became excited and soon died. The twins had lived 63 years.

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