Two Women Mixed Up At Birth Find Out The Truth Around 24 Years Later
Two women were allegedly switched at birth and only learned of their true parents when they were 24 years old.
In 1989, Lorena and Antonella were born via Cesarean section at a hospital in Puglia, Italy within 11 minutes of each other, Daily Mail reports.
But evidence suggests Lorena was given to Antonella's parents while Antonella was given to Lorena's, in what could be a very costly hospital mistake.
The former was raised by a warm-hearted couple who, despite not being very well-off, provided considerable financial support.
Lorena told Daily Mail she never once questioned her identity, saying,
A few times people pointed out that I didn't look like anyone in the family. But no one ever gave it any weight. Lots of people don't look like their parents and take their looks from a grandmother or whatever.
Antonella, however, grew up in an abusive, impoverished household, and she, along with a sister and diabetic brother, was abandoned by the couple who raised her, according to Daily Mail.
When their mother left, Antonella and the girl raised as her sister were put up for adoption in 2005 after living with their grandparents for a short while. The brother stayed.
Antonella and her sister were soon taken in by a couple who she now legally considers her parents, according to official documents.
Soon after a family issue regarding the man Lorena was dating, the Cobuzzi couple who raised her supposedly grew suspicious of their daughter's identity.
Around two years ago, they reportedly got in touch with Lorena's birth mother and asked for a photo of her family.
Lorena described the picture,
Antonella, who has naturally curly hair, looked exactly like my official mother, Caterina. While Elisa [Atonella's sister] looked exactly like me. It was like seeing myself in a photo.
A DNA test reportedly proved Antonella was the Cobuzzis' daughter, sending Lorena into a deep sadness.
The feeling was terrible -- I didn't know who I was anymore. I didn't know who to call mum and dad.
Lorena and Antonella went on to enjoy emotional reunions with their birth parents and siblings.
The two women have only met once, however, and it was understandably strained.
We didn't speak. It was so strange. Because for our entire lives she should have been in my place. And I should have been in her place.
The women and their families are allegedly suing Italian health authorities in a suit worth the equivalent of roughly $24 million.
Court documents argue Lorena deserves compensation for the trauma she experienced after hearing of the hospital's mistake.
The documents state Lorena "suffered psychological damage...which is now marked by states of unhappiness with traumatic effects on her daily life."
It is reported the specific defendant(s) of the case will be determined in court next month.