A hospital in Puglia, Italy made one huge mistake 26 years ago when they switched two baby girls born on the same day and sent them home with the wrong parents.
Lorena Cobuzzi and Antonella Zenga were born in 1989 just 11 minutes apart and were assigned wrist bands numbered “47” and “48” after birth. Somehow, the infants got swapped and handed to the wrong parents by the nurses.
The girls were raised just two miles apart in a town called Trinitapoli, but their paths never crossed and their upbringings were significantly different. Cobuzzi experienced a happy childhood with loving parents while Zenga was abandoned and given up for adoption.
Cobuzzi’s parents stumbled upon a photo of Zenga on Facebook two years ago and were stunned by how much the young woman looked like them.
Zenga was also pictured with her sister, Elisa, who bore a striking resemblance to the girl the Cobuzzis had raised as their daughter, Lorena.
The Cobuzzis sat Lorena down and told her that they believed there was a hospital mix-up the day she was born and that she was not their real daughter.
“I felt physically sick,” Lorena said in a recent interview with Daily Mail. “They sat me down and told me they had something important to tell me. They said there had been two families at the hospital that day. They said the babies had been swapped.”
“The feeling was terrible; I didn’t know who I was anymore. I didn’t know who to call mum and dad.”
Lorena doesn’t know exactly how it came about that her parents found the photo of Antonella Zenga but she suspects they already had suspicions of the mix-up and decided to investigate.
Upon seeing the photo noticing the uncanny resemblance, the Cobuzzis also learned both girls had the same birthday and were born in the same hospital. These factors prompted them to get a DNA test which made their suspicions a reality.
Antonella Zenga definitely got the short end of the stick in the swap as she was raised in an unhappy, abusive home and her father eventually left the family for a new girlfriend then her mother later abandoned her and her two siblings.
Antonella and her younger sister were placed in the system and were adopted by the Zenga family. In direct contrast, Lorena had a secure upbringing with the Cobuzzi’s and they were a close-knit, religious family.
“I feel lucky in a sense to have been swapped and grown up in a normal loving family,” Lorena said. “She [Antonella] had to deal with her parents separating, then leaving her, then being adopted. So, yes, I feel fortunate that I didn’t have to go through all that.”
Since the truth was revealed two years ago, both women have since been reunited with their biological families and they have filed a lawsuit against the Italian health authorities for a combined 22 million euros.