Two sisters who were separated and orphaned at a young age in South Korea were both adopted by American families in different states and found each other 40 years later by chance.
Pok-nam Shin, whose American name is Holly Hoyle O’Brien, and Eun-Sook Shin, or Meagan Hughes, happened to work as nurses on the same floor with the same shifts at Doctors Hospital in Sarasota, Florida.
Holly Hoyle O’Brien with her American family.
The Sarasota Herald-Tribune reported that the two were orphaned in the 1970s before Hughes was adopted by an American family in Kingston, New York, in 1976 and O’Brien by a family in Alexandria, Virginia.
Holly Hoyle O’Brien , left, and Meagan Hughes.
From Hughe’s recollection, her biological mother had taken her from an alcoholic father. Her half-sister, O’Brien, stayed with her father and was orphaned after he was hit by a train.
O’Brien told the Tribune: “In my heart, I knew. I knew she was out there somewhere.”
The two became immediate friends and often had lunch together. Hughes told NBC News she noticed how much they had in common: “I asked Holly what her last name was in Korean and she said Shin and I said oh my god that is also my last name too.”
After receiving positive results from a DNA result on Aug. 17, O’ Brien told the Tribune: “I’m like, this can’t be. I was trembling, I was so excited, I was ecstatic.”