Women, 56, Discover They Were Switched at Birth

'Swisters' become friends after Oregon hospital's mix-up revealed
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 12, 2009 1:44 AM CDT
Kay Rene Qualls, left, of Heppner, Ore., and DeeAnn Shafer, of Richland, Wash., pose for a photo in front of the Pioneer Memorial Hospital in Heppner, Ore., last week.   (AP Photo/E.J. Harris, East Oregonian)

(Newser) – Two women's lives have been turned upside down since they discovered they were switched at birth 56 years ago, the East Oregonian reports. Kay Qualls and DeeAnn Shafer—whose parents are now deceased—decided to go for DNA testing last summer after an elderly former neighbor contacted one of the families, insisting the hospital had made a mistake.

The women were floored after the tests revealed they had been taken home by the wrong sets of parents—but they're trying to focus on the positive aspects. The two—who call themselves "swisters"—are now good friends and bear no animosity toward the hospital. "I love my kids. I love my husband. I love my life," Shafer said. "You can't look back. It just drives you crazy."