COVID-19 diagnosis leads to reunion between long-lost half sisters: "I'd been searching for my sisters for over 53 years"

Coronavirus reunites long-lost half sisters
Coronavirus reunites long-lost half sisters 03:00

When Doris Crippen broke her arm in May, she said she feared for her life. "I laid there for 24 hours before I was found, and I thought I was going to die," Crippen told CBS correspondent Chip Reid.

But the diagnosis she got at the hospital was even more devastating: she had COVID-19, a risky proposition for someone who's 73.

"COVID is something I never want to ever get again," she said.

The bitter pill, though, became easier to swallow when Crippen met her medication aide, Bev Boro, at a rehab center outside Omaha, Nebraska.

"I just couldn't believe that she was actually here," Boro said. "I was like, 'Oh, my God. I think this is my sister.'"

Crippen doesn't hear very well, so Boro picked up a white board and wrote, "Is your father Wendell Hoffman?"

"My mind's racing. I'm thinking, 'Why is she asking me this question for? I don't know her,'" Crippen said. "But she did look kind of familiar."

Familiar, it turns out, from 53 years ago.

"The last time I'd seen Bev is when I rocked her in my arms, but she's too big today to do that," Crippen said. 

Their father was a trucker. 

"He would have my mother go out on the road with him and left us with a 10- and 11-year-old to take care of ... 6 months to 5 years old, so the neighbor called the state," Boro said. 

Boro, just 6 months old at the time, was sent to foster care. Crippen, who was 20 and living elsewhere, tried to locate her.

"I'd been searching for my sisters for over 53 years," Crippen said. "I knew they were out there, but I just never could find them."

Now, they're finding new family through each other.

"So far, I'm really bonding with my sister," Crippen said. 

Boro said they see each other a lot now. "It's hard on these residents and patients when you can't have a visitor," she said. "I see her like three or four times a day."

Crippen said she is looking forward to when she can leave the rehab center. 

"So I can go spend some time with her and meet her husband and meet her children," she said. 

"Oh, it's going to be amazing," Boro said. 

"I guess it was God's plan that this happened because, if I didn't have the COVID, I would have never found my sister," Crippen said.