In a shocking case of out of rural Northern Canada, a pair of good friends have just discovered that they were switched at birth 41 years ago. The mistake allegedly took place at a government-run Canadian hospital in Manitoba back in 1975. Reportedly, DNA tests have confirmed that Leon Swanson and David Tait Jr. were indeed raised by the wrong families. Even more disturbing, according to local media reports, the men weren’t the only pair of babies who were switched at birth at the same hospital that year, officials reported Friday.
As Fox News reports, story is like something out of a movie. The men were prompted into looking into whether they could have been switched at birth after they heard about another confirmed switched at birth case that happened at the hospital of their birth. Apparently, the two men had suffered through significant teasing growing up, with many people commenting that they resembled each other’s families more than their own.
The men were born three days apart and both grew up in Norway House Cree Nation, where they took a lot of ribbing about their appearances. Reportedly, they began to put real stock into the idea that they could have truly been switched at birth nine months ago. That was when the men heard about two men who live in a nearby town.
Those men were reportedly born in the same hospital as Swanson and Tait, and they discovered that they were switched at birth in 1975. Apparently, the other case of the now-grown men being switched at birth occurred when Swanson and Tait were just five months old.
After having their suspicions about being switched at birth confirmed, David Tait Jr. spoke to the local media about the unbelievable, heartbreaking news.
“It’s pretty tough, it hits you like a ton of bricks. (I’m) angry, confused, upset. I’d like to get some answers so I know what’s going on.”
After discovering that they had been switched at birth, the men publicly stated that they feel as though their “lives were stolen.”
According to former aboriginal affairs minister Eric Robinson, who is now acting as a spokesperson for the men who were switched at birth, having two cases of babies being switched at birth at the same hospital is “nothing less than criminal.”
“We can live with one mistake, but two mistakes of a similar nature is not acceptable, so we can’t simply slough it off as being a mistake. Indeed, it was a criminal activity in my view.”
The case of the two pairs of switched at birth babies has gotten so much attention, reports The New York Times, that the Canadian government has now gotten involved in the situation. Canadian Federal Health Minister Jane Philpott has expressed repeated concerns over the matter, calling the case of the two men being switched at birth an “unfortunate reminder” of the apparently unmet Canadian need to provide excellent (or at least better) health care for the people of the Indigenous First Nation.
On Sunday, a spokesperson for Minister Philpott confirmed that a concerted third-party review into the switched at birth situation and hospital is going to be taking place in the immediate future. Reportedly, the Canadian government will also be offering the unwitting victims of both known switched at birth cases a “full range of mental and spiritual support.”
The independent review will include an in-depth look into both historical documents and files from the hospital in question. Authorities have promised to thoroughly scour the hospital’s records “during the time period in question.” The Canadian Federal Health Ministry hasn’t commented on whether the “time period in question” might be weeks, months or even years.
Speculation is rampant that the scope of the review could be dependent upon what is uncovered and whether more switched at birth cases are uncovered.
“Given these latest developments, the department will be moving quickly to engage the services of an independent third party to do a dedicated and thorough investigation of all available hospital records from the period to determine what happened and whether there is any other cause for concern beyond the two cases identified.”
According to the switched at birth men and other locals, there’s a real concern in the area that other families could be dealing with cases of children who were switched at birth and not even know.
So far, it hasn’t been publicly announced whether or not the men or their families plan on filing any kind of lawsuit now that it’s been confirmed that they were switched at birth.
[Photo by the Swanson and Tait Families]