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Korean Sisters Reunited After 40 Years by Working at Same Place

Image: Korean Sisters Reunited After 40 Years by Working at Same Place
Meagan Hughes, left, and Holly Hoyle O'Brien at Doctors Hospital of Sarasota in Sarasota, Fla.  (Dan Wagner/Sarasota Herald-Tribune via AP)

By    |   Wednesday, 14 Oct 2015 12:41 PM

Korean sisters Meagan Hughes and Holly Hoyle O'Brien were reunited after 40 years apart when they happened to get hired by the same hospital in Florida, and assigned to the same shift on the same floor.

O'Brien, 46, originally named Pok-nam Shin, told The Sarasota Herald-Tribune that she and Hughes, 44, originally named Eun-Sook Shin, hit it off as co-workers when they were hired at Doctors Hospital of Sarasota in January and March, respectively.

After becoming friendly, they discovered that they were both orphaned in Korea, both adopted by American families, and both had the same Korean last name.

"I'm like, 'This can't be.' I was trembling. I was so excited. I was ecstatic," said O'Brien.

That's when they decided they had to get a DNA test to see if they were each other's long lost sisters.

"When I heard from Holly, my first reaction was like, 'Oh my God.' I was in shock, I was numb," said Hughes, after the tests came back Aug. 17 s as a match. "I have a sister."

Hughes, the younger sister, said that she does not remember her and O'Brien's biological father.

The father, a grocer with an alcohol problem, had O'Brien with his first wife, who died. O'Brien's father remarried, and had Hughes, but the marriage didn't last.

"One night, while he slept, Pok-nam awoke and peered in silence as her stepmother gathered Pok-nam’s younger half-sister, Eun-Sook, and made their getaway. They never returned," wrote the Herald-Tribune.

Their father soon wandered into the path of a speeding train, leaving O'Brien an orphan. Like her sister, Hughes also ended up in an orphanage, with her file reading "abandoned."

Eventually, they were each adopted by American families. O'Brien was adopted by a family from Virginia in 1978, while Hughes was adopted by a New York family in 1976.

Growing up, O'Brien asked her adoptive parents to help her find her sister, however the orphanage had no records of her.

Thus, the two remained apart until they met this year while working at the hospital, where fortune brought them together.

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Korean sisters Meagan Hughes and Holly Hoyle O'Brien were reunited after 40 years apart when they happened to get hired by the same hospital in Florida, and assigned to the same shift on the same floor.
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Wednesday, 14 Oct 2015 12:41 PM
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