LONG-LOST sisters reunited after 55 years apart have now made the emotional discovery that they are actually twins.
Jenny Lucas and Helen Edwards, both 64, were separated at birth when Jenny was given up for adoption.
But Jenny tracked down her birth mother in 2003 and discovered she had a sister.
The pair assumed they must have been half-sisters, but were often surprised by their similarities. Both sisters often go to call each other and find the phone starts ringing with the other on the other end.
In 2009, the siblings took a DNA test, which confirmed they were full sisters, but still confused by their past they applied for their late mother’s medical records.
Helen, who is from Morpeth, always thought she was born on April 4, 1950, but the records showed there had been no birth on that day.
Instead, they found her mother had given birth to twins on December 2, 1948, which is Jenny’s birthday. The sisters believed the second baby had most likely died, but DNA tests have now confirmed that the sisters are non-identical twins.
The shock discovery means Helen has effectively lost 15 months of her life because she believed she was 62-years-old when she is in fact 64.
Helen, a retired surgical assistant, said: “I have been lied to about my birth all my life. All the big dates in my life, like my 21st birthday, have been false.
“This has been an incredible shock and it has been a very difficult time.
“Jenny and I have gone through a real rollercoaster with this whole story. Discovering we were twins was happy news, but a real shock.
“For twins to be separated at birth is hugely emotional, but does go some way to explain the similarities between us — we were brought up differently but are so alike.”
Jenny, a former professional golfer, from Tenterden, Kent, said: “Our mother’s medical records showed she had five children, but all had been home births apart from the one in December, 1948, when she had been in hospital for 11 days which must have been because she had twins.
“It was a huge shock to realise that I was in actual fact a twin, but in many ways it made a lot of sense. We are very alike, we have the same mannerisms, we hold our coffee cups the same way, we mirror each other on the little things, even when we first met. We both have chihuahua dogs too.”
Jenny, who discovered she was adopted when she was 14, began to search for her birth family in 1981.
Having found her an aunt, she was told her mother did not want to meet her and went ahead with a move to Florida with her husband Sam.
When she returned to Britain in 2003, her cousin had managed to find her mother’s address and the mum-of-three plucked up the courage to visit her and was welcomed with open arms.
During the meeting, Jenny was told she must leave as her daughter Helen would be home soon so she returned to America intrigued by the idea of a sister.
When Jenny moved back to the UK in 2007, her mother had passed away and Helen was listed as her next of kin. Jenny tracked her down on Friends Reunited.
The pair also have another sister and a late brother. They still have no idea why Jenny was put up for adoption and Helen was kept.