October 22, 2021
A mother's decision to take a DNA test revealed something unexpected—she was not a match for her kids. The discovery led to a lengthy court battle. Eventually, doctors discovered the shocking reason for the test results.
In 2006, Lydia Fairchild faced an ordeal that very few mothers have had to endure. She knew she had carried her babies and given birth to them, yet multiple DNA tests revealed that she was not their biological mother.
The fight to keep her children started when she was 26 years old and applied for public assistance. To obtain funding, her family members needed to be tested, and that's when they made the startling discovery.
ACCUSED OF WELFARE FRAUD
The family, who resided in Washington, were stunned by the news that their mother was a "criminal suspect." The Department of Social Services wanted to know who Fairchild was and accused her of welfare fraud. Fairchild was speechless.
She told them they had made a mistake, but the authorities informed her that "DNA is 100 percent foolproof." Not only was her request for government assistance rejected, but she was also required to prove that she was who she claimed to be.
SHE WAS TRAUMATIZED
The mother was at risk of losing her kids, and the experience traumatized her. Fairchild's father, Rod, said:
"I almost went insane inside. I couldn't imagine why this could happen. My daughter is not a liar."
Fairchild reached out to her OBGYN, Dr. Leonard Dreisbach, who witnessed the births of her kids. He was dumbfounded by the DNA results and vouched for her in court. However, it was not enough.
THERE IS HOPE
The test results were seen as "the gold standard in court." Fairchild finally saw some light at the end of the tunnel when she found out about another woman with a similar story.
Doctors found out that Boston resident Karen Keegan was her own twin. Dr. Lynne Uhl, a pathologist and doctor of transfusion medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, explained the rare phenomenon.
SHE WAS HER OWN TWIN
Uhl stated that Keegan was one person in her blood but another person in her other tissues. This was the breakthrough Fairchild needed.
Courts allowed the mother to undergo more tests to determine if she had what was called a chimera. Results proved that Fairchild was also her own twin. While "the twin" is invisible, it lives inside as DNA.
THE MOTHER IS GRATEFUL
Fairchild's unique case was pleaded, and a judge ruled in her favor. The mother said: "I probably wouldn't have my kids today if they didn't discover [Keegan's] situation. They wouldn't have known to even consider me as a chimera."
A rare medical phenomenon was almost the reason a mother lost her kids. Thankfully, she was able to prove that she was, in fact, their biological parent.
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