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For illustrative purposes only. Image Credit: Pixabay

Abu Dhabi: A 35-year-old Saudi woman who discovered she was accidentally switched at birth at a Mecca maternity hospital was granted SR2 million in damages, a Mecca court ruled.

The woman, born to wealthy parents, has been awarded the damages after accidentally being switched with another baby and spending more than three decades living in poverty.

A DNA test revealed the life-changing mistake by a nurse of a government hospital in Mecca, who had bathed the newborns and returned them to the wrong mothers.

The women spent decades living each others’ lives: one woman living in poverty, the other enjoying a private education and abundance.

Instead of the life of affluence for which she was destined, the woman lived impoverishment and grew up in a small apartment which had no electrical appliances. The other baby grew up in a well-off family, according to the court records.

The error was uncovered after the woman who grew up in poverty realised she did not share likeness of her siblings and requested a DNA test. After they found out they were not related they searched hospital records and eventually found their true sister.

The woman who grew up in poverty never knew her real parents, who died.

The court said in its ruling it was “impossible to assess the scale of the pain and disappointment both the parents and the woman had to suffer, as they were deprived of opportunities to enjoy their parent-child relationship for good.”