After nearly 50 years, a St. Louis woman has been reunited with a daughter she had been told had died just after the hospital delivery.
A maternity nurse broke the sad news to Zella Jackson Price, 76, just hours after she gave birth to daughter Diane on Nov. 25, 1965.
But Diane 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 for the first time Thursday in an emotion-charged reunion.
The two women embraced when Gilmore pulled into the driveway of Price's home. "There's nothing greater. There's nothing greater than this. Nothing," Price, an accomplished gospel singer, told the station.
Gilmore, hearing impaired since age 3, 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. The nurse told Price the infant lived only a few hours after being born premature. Price never saw the baby.
Gilmore's children tried to find Price through Facebook. They made contact in February. That led to a DNA test confirming a 99.9% match.
One of the children Melika Jackson went on Youtube in March to ask if someone at the hospital "decided to perform an unlawful act which involved the kidnapping of a child."
KSDK-TV said the hospital has been closed since 1979.
The Price family told the station they are looking for answers.
"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."