A WOMAN at the centre of a shocking switched-at-birth story fears she was swapped on purpose by her fake parents.
Kimberly Mays believes she was taken deliberately, as her biological parents unknowingly took home an infant with a congenital heart defect – who died just nine years later.
Now aged 40, Kimberly asks in a new ABC News interview: “I was switched at birth. How did I get switched and why?”
She’s opened up about the scandal, and the tragic custody battle that gripped headlines when she was still a child, several decades later.
Kimberly was born at a tiny rural hospital in central Florida back in 1978, but went home with the wrong parents – Barbara and Robert Mays.
Genetic tests later revealed that she was actually the baby of Ernest and Regina Twigg.
But they were sent home with the Mays’ biological infant – who was born at the same time – whom they named Arlena.
It wasn’t until years later, when Arlena was aged nine and had a routine blood test for a congenital heart defect, the mistake was revealed.
Arlena died that same year, after having open-heart surgery.
Kimberly told the broadcaster that she feels “sorry” for Arlena Twigg.
After Arlena’s death, she spent nearly six years locked in a custody battle after genetic tests showed her biological parents had taken the wrong child home from Hardee Memorial in Wauchula.
The babies were the only two white girls born about the time at the hospital.
Kimberly’s father Robert Mays initially refused to let doctors test his daughter for two years after Arlena’s death.
The Mays only agreed to the genetic tests after the Twiggs promised they wouldn’t seek custody, no matter what the tests showed.
The Twiggs later fought to gain custody of Kimberly, accusing her father, Robert Mays, of bribing the hospital to switch the infants due to Arlena’s illness, People reported.
DIVORCED FROM PARENTS
A TV movie based on the story of Kimberly and Arlena, Switched at Birth, was released in 1991.
She ended up spending time with both families.
When aged 14, however, in 1993, Kimberly took part in a highly publicised lawsuit to divorce her biological parents.
She ended up winning the landmark case, and ‘divorced’ from her biological mum and dad.
Yet, she decided to move in with them six months later.
Four years ago, Kimberly told Barbara Walters that the mix-up and subsequent tug of war while she was a child tore her life apart.
Kimberly said: “I wish I had my life back. A normal life. It’s ruined. I don’t have a normal life.
“Honestly, I had an identity crisis. I wanted to find out who I was and what my roots were, how they were as a family and a unit.”
Both families were involved in lawsuits with the hospital, with the Twiggs reportedly settling for $7 million and the Mays family for $6.6 million.
In the ABC News interview, being aired today, Kimberly – who has been homeless and worked as a stripper – admits that “I really don’t feel I have [a mum].”
She also “regrets” divorcing the Twiggs.
Kimberly has given birth to six children with four different fathers and now works in a call centre.
The Twigg family is estranged from Kimberly, who maintains she was “never close” to her biological mum.
Regina Twigg has gone on record, saying she believes the baby switch was deliberate – but Robert Mays has denied the allegation, with his lawyer saying that he passed a lie detector test “with flying colours”.
School teacher Regina said: “They give me the sick baby, and give Barbara the healthy baby… they just were convinced that baby was going to die.”
A nurse’s aide claimed that a doctor ordered her to swap the newborns in 1978.
Patsy Webb told the Associated Press that although she refused to comply, she later found out that the babies had been switched anyway.
View more information: https://www.the-sun.com/news/102029/woman-swapped-at-birth-fears-she-was-switched-deliberately-by-her-fake-parents-who-wanted-a-healthy-baby/