Earlier this year, O’Brien was hired at a hospital in Sarasota, , working as a nursing assistant on the fourth floor. Three months later, Hughes was hired to work on the same floor.
The two women worked the same 7am-7.30pm shift and struck up a friendship quickly.
The coincidences began stacking up. Both had “abandonment” listed on their orphanage paperwork and both had been adopted by American families.
O’Brien told the Sarasota Herald-Tribune: “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.”
She ordered DNA kits from Canada and the women did mouth swabs, which were sent back to Canada in early August.
The match was positive.
“I’m like, this can’t be,” O’Brien told the paper. “I was trembling, I was so excited. I was ecstatic.”
Her half sister was just as surprised: “When I heard from Holly, my first reaction was like, ‘Oh my god.’ I was in shock, I was numb. I have a sister,” Hughes said.