Fate can be such a cruel, wondrous thing at times.
Leon Swanson and David Tait Jr. were born in the same hospital, Norway House Indian Hospital. They grew up in the same remote Canadian community. As they grew up, they forged a close friendship with each other. They had sleepovers, hanging out with each other and their families.
But something seemed off. It always seemed like each boy’s features were mapped onto his face much in the same way as his friend’s parents. Leon looked like David’s parents, while David bore a striking resemblance with Leon’s parents.
Last year, another shocking case surfaced that hit close to home in many ways. Two men, Luke Monias and Norman Barkman, discovered they had been sent home with the wrong families. Monias and Barkman had also been delivered in 1975, also at the Norway Indian Hospital.
This year, after decades of suspicion, Swanson and Tait decided to get a DNA test done. The test proved what they had quietly suspected for years — they were brought up by each other’s birth families.
"We don't have words," Tait said. "Forty years gone … just distraught, confused angry."
Charlotte Mason, Tait’s mother who accidentally brought up Swanson, said she was shifted to a hospital in Winnipeg after her delivery due to complications. There, Francis Tait gave birth to a baby, who was wrongly sent home with Mason.
Both the families are members of the indigenous Manitoba First Nation.
Federal Health Minister Jane Philpott said she is "deeply troubled" by what has transpired. She pledged to undertake third-party investigation to get to the bottom of what happened.
All the victims of these baby-switching cases are indigenous Canadians. The cases raise grave concerns about whether quality healthcare is being provided to the indigenous community.
Following two such instances of the same mistake, Chief of Norway House Cree Nation Ron Evans requested that members of community come forward if they have similar concerns regarding their family.
Check Out: Two Women Switched At Birth Spend 24 Years With The Wrong Families
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