Twin sisters reunite after 78 years apart - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Twin sisters reunite after 78 years apart

Posted: Updated:
Twin sisters, Ann Hunt, left, of Aldershot, England and Liz Hamel, of Albany, Oregon, both 78, reunite May 1, 2014 at the Fullerton Marriott for the first time since 1936, when they were they were separated at five-months-old in Aldershot, England. Their Twin sisters, Ann Hunt, left, of Aldershot, England and Liz Hamel, of Albany, Oregon, both 78, reunite May 1, 2014 at the Fullerton Marriott for the first time since 1936, when they were they were separated at five-months-old in Aldershot, England. Their
A television crew from the BBC, left, records the May 1, 2014 reunion at the Fullerton Marriott of twin sisters Ann Hunt and Liz Hamel, both 78, in Fullerton, Calif. Pictured, from left, are Samantha Stacey, her mother Ann Hunt, Liz Hamel, and her son, Qu A television crew from the BBC, left, records the May 1, 2014 reunion at the Fullerton Marriott of twin sisters Ann Hunt and Liz Hamel, both 78, in Fullerton, Calif. Pictured, from left, are Samantha Stacey, her mother Ann Hunt, Liz Hamel, and her son, Qu
Renowned expert on twins Dr. Nancy Segal of Cal State Fullerton, center, shares a laugh with twin sisters, Liz Hamel, left, of Albany, Oregon and Ann Hunt, of Aldershot, England, right, May 1, 2014 during their reunion at the Fullerton Marriott. This is t Renowned expert on twins Dr. Nancy Segal of Cal State Fullerton, center, shares a laugh with twin sisters, Liz Hamel, left, of Albany, Oregon and Ann Hunt, of Aldershot, England, right, May 1, 2014 during their reunion at the Fullerton Marriott. This is t
FULLERTON, Calif. (AP) — It's been 78 years since Ann Hunt and Elizabeth Hamel were last together — in their mother's womb.

The twin sisters were reunited last week for the first time since birth in Fullerton, California, thanks to a nudge from their children and help from a psychology professor, the Orange County Register reported Sunday.

Hunt, who lives in England, was given up for adoption and only learned she had a twin when she began looking for her birth mother after her adopted mother died.

Hamel, who lives in Oregon, always knew she had a twin but says she never thought she would see her.

"How lovely to see you in the flesh," Hamel said, as she embraced her sister at a hotel in Fullerton.

The women were to spend the next day undergoing testing at the Twin Studies Center at California State University, Fullerton, with professor Nancy Segal, who researches twins who were raised apart to better understand the role of genes and environment in human development.

Both women were born in Aldershot, England, in 1936. Their mother, a domestic servant, decided to give up one of the girls after their birth father fled. Hamel said she kept her because she was born with curvature of the spine, which would have made it more difficult for her to be adopted.

Hamel grew up an only child. She met her husband — a "Yank"— while stationed with the Women's Royal Enlisted Navy in Malta, and eventually moved to the United States. The couple had two sons.

Hunt was adopted by a couple, and was also raised as an only child. She didn't look for her birth mother until after her adopted mother died, and only learned a year ago she was a twin. Samantha Stacey, one of Hunt's three daughters, tracked down Hamel and sent her a letter.

The two women were soon talking on the phone. Hamel's son Quinton read one of Segal's books about twins and contacted the professor, who arranged the reunion. After undergoing testing in Fullerton, the sisters, who are believed to be fraternal twins, and cousins plan to spend a week at Hamel's home looking at old photos and learning more about each other.

"You wonder about someone and what they're like and suddenly they're here," Hamel said. "It's a shock."

"It's a shock and a joy," Hunt added.

  • Top StoriesMore>>

  • Cedar Point: No "King James" roller coaster

    Cedar Point: No "King James" roller coaster

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 2:33 PM EDT2014-09-16 18:33:37 GMT
    There will not be a King James ride at Cedar Point, after all. Instead, the park and LeBron James struck a deal that they say is more beneficial. Cedar Point announced Tuesday plans to partner with the LeBron James Family Foundation.
    There will not be a King James ride at Cedar Point, after all. Instead, the park and LeBron James struck a deal that they say is more beneficial. Cedar Point announced Tuesday plans to partner with the LeBron James Family Foundation.
  • School bus driver killed during safety drill

    School bus driver killed during safety drill

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 1:49 PM EDT2014-09-16 17:49:20 GMT
    Police say a school bus driver for a private transportation company was killed when the bus rolled over her during an evacuation drill outside an Akron charter school. A police spokesman says the 51-year-old driver sacrificed her life to save a 10-year-old girl who was about to jump out of the emergency exit at the back of the bus Tuesday morning.
    Police say a school bus driver for a private transportation company was killed when the bus rolled over her during an evacuation drill outside an Akron charter school. A police spokesman says the 51-year-old driver sacrificed her life to save a 10-year-old girl who was about to jump out of the emergency exit at the back of the bus Tuesday morning.
  • Make your big-screen debut, Batman-style

    Make your big-screen debut, Batman-style

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 1:22 PM EDT2014-09-16 17:22:22 GMT
    You might be able to make your big-screen appearance superhero-style.A message on the Michigan Film Office's website is calling for extras to star in a Warner Brothers film, and most industry experts say it's for the film "Batman v. Superman."In a posting on its website, Warner Bros. says it will film Oct. 16 and 17 in Lansing. The film is being shot in and around Detroit.The British website Casting Talent s ays the call is definitely for "Batman v. Superman," which is due for release in 2016...
    You might be able to make your big-screen appearance superhero-style.A message on the Michigan Film Office's website is calling for extras to star in a Warner Brothers film, and most industry experts say it's for the film "Batman v. Superman."In a posting on its website, Warner Bros. says it will film Oct. 16 and 17 in Lansing. The film is being shot in and around Detroit.The British website Casting Talent s ays the call is definitely for "Batman v. Superman," which is due for release in 2016...

Area Events Calendar

See It, Shoot It, Send It!