After nearly 50 years, a St. Louis woman has been reunited with a daughter she had been told had died just hours after being born.
A maternity nurse told mother of six, Zella Jackson Price, 76, that her premature daughter Melanie Diane Gilmore, born on Nov. 25, 1965, died only three hours after her birth and never saw her child.
But Diane, now 49 years old, had never died, Fox2Now reported Thursday. She was adopted by another family and is now Melanie Diane Gilmore, 49, and an Oregon resident. She met her biological mother and siblings for the first time Thursday in an emotionally charged reunion.
Gilmore arrived at Lambert St. Louis International Airport Thursday afternoon and was first greeted and hugged by one of her brothers, Harvey Price Junior.
They then proceeded to Price’s home, where Price and several of her other children were anxiously waiting. As soon as Gilmore pulled into the driveway, Price and her long-lost daughter shared an emotional embrace for the first time. “There’s nothing greater. There’s nothing greater than this. Nothing,” Price, an accomplished gospel singer, said.
Gilmore, deaf since age 3 due to measles, was just as overjoyed. “I am just so happy…very excited,” she said.
The birth took place at the old Homer G. Phillips Price Hospital in St. Louis that closed down in 1979 and reopened in 2003 as a senior living facility.
Gilmore’s children tried to find their grandmother through Facebook. They made contact in February. That led to a DNA test confirming a 99.9% match.
The Price family told the station they are looking for answers and wondering if someone at the hospital kidnapped Diane. “I’m still kinda in shock,” Price said. “I don’t know what we’ll find out, what error, what was done. I don’t know what we’ll find out. As soon as we get over the excitement of being together, and everything, I will seek a lawyer.”
“Only time can heal those wounds, only time,” said Price. “It’s a new chapter.”