Nearly 50 years ago, Zella Jackson Price was told that her premature baby girl had died soon after birth. Heartbroken, Price went home from the Homer G. Phillips Hospital in St. Louis without her baby.
Little did she know that the hospital had somehow confused her baby with another, and that her daughter, Melanie Gilmore, was adopted and raised by another family.
Both woman moved on – Price raising six other children, and Gilmore moving to Oregon and starting a family of her own. As a young adult, Gilmore tried to find her biological mother, but repeatedly met dead ends.
Years later, Gilmore’s own daughters took up the search, and found their grandmother through Facebook. DNA testing revealed a 99.9997 percent match between Gilmore and Price.
Gilmore’s children surprised her with the news and a video chat with Price. Overcome with emotion, Gilmore broke down sobbing at the sight of her mom. “I love you,” both women repeatedly said and signed, as Gilmore is deaf.
The heartwarming video received over 1.7 million hits:
“You could see how much joy she felt,” Gilmore’s daughter said. “She’s been lost and confused for so long. That next morning, she looked at peace with herself.”
Through a GoFundMe campaign, Gilmore’s family raised over $7,800 to visit Price in Missouri. Mother and daughter reunited face to face for the first time on April 9.
“She needs to know who her family is,” Gilmore’s daughter said. “She has missed out on these years. Visits are not going to cut it. She’s always wanted this. She’s so happy.
The families plan to make time to visit frequently.
“(God) has given me everything the devil has taken from me,” Price told Fox News. “I’m getting it back. I’m getting my baby back.”