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Two women met at work, bonded - then DNA proved that they're long-lost sisters

Meagan Hughes and Holly Hoyle-O’Brien were separately adopted from South Korea by Americans in the 1970s.

HOLLY HOYLE O’BRIEN and Meagan Hughes, nurses of Korean descent working at a Florida hospital, shared such similar backgrounds that they wondered – could they be sisters?

O’Brien, formerly known as Pok-nam Shin, and Hughes, formerly known as Eun-Sook Shin, were both orphans adopted in South Korea in the 1970s by separate families.

46-year-old O’Brien was hired in January at the Doctors Hospital of Sarasota, Florida and assigned to the fourth floor. Two months later Hughes, 44, was hired and assigned to the same floor.

As new Korean-American hires O’Brien and Hughes quickly bonded, and as they got to know each other, they were astounded by the similarities in their background.

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“I was like, this is too good to be true. I said we’ve got to do the DNA test, it’s the only way we’ll get the truth out of the whole thing,” O’Brien told the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.

The DNA test results, which arrived in August, were positive.

“I was in shock, I was numb. I have a sister,” Hughes told the newspaper.

Hughes has few memories of her mother or the orphanage. A US family adopted her in 1976, and she was raised in New York state.

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Their birth mother died when O’Brien was young, and at the age of five she ended up in an orphanage in her native Pusan after her alcoholic father died.

A US couple adopted her in 1978 and she  went to live in the US state of Virginia. She was nine at the time.

O’Brien was convinced she had a sister, but when her adopted family contacted the orphanage they were told that there was no record of a sibling.

Decades later she met Hughes. On learning the results of the DNA test, “I was trembling, I was so excited. I was ecstatic,” O’Brien said.

But in my heart, I knew … I knew [my sister] was out there somewhere.

O’Brien, who has no children, said she is looking forward to spending vacation with Hughes’s daughters, her ‘new’ nieces.

“Like, whatever I’ve done, I must’ve done something good in my life,” she said.

© – AFP, 2015

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