02/07/2015 06:25 BST | Updated 02/07/2015 06:59 BST

Strangers Reunite Woman With Family After Ovarian Cancer Causes Rare Form Of Amnesia

A woman who woke up in hospital with no recollection of who she was has finally discovered her true identity - all thanks to the power of social media.

Ashley Manetta, 53, was found dying by emergency staff who rushed her to a hospital in San Diego.

But when she came around she couldn't remember her name, age or where she was from. In fact, she couldn't remember anything about her life, NBC reports.

Tests revealed that she had Stage 3 ovarian cancer, which doctors believe caused her to have retrograde amnesia.

Manetta, who was known as 'Sam' by hospital staff, was featured in an NBC Facebook post which went viral and was shared a staggering 200,000 times.

Latest info on this story!...

Posted by Steven Luke NBC 7 San Diego on Monday, June 29, 2015

There was a lot of speculation about who 'Sam' really was. One woman called Ann Dahl said she knew her from a Bible study at a Catholic church, but was convinced she was Australian because of her strange accent.

"I know the voice; I know the face, although she's gained a little weight and the whole persona is the same," Dahl told NBC.

Five months after she was taken into A&E with no recollection of who she was, 'Sam's' prayers were finally answered.

It turns out she is actually a woman called Ashley Manetta who is 53 years old and was born in Pennsylvania. She never married but has two sisters who live in Colorado and Maryland.

For a period of her life, Manetta lived in Arizona but then moved to Southern California.


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Her nephew saw the story on NBC 7 and phoned his mother (Manetta's sister) straight away. The FBI were then involved and, after speaking with Manetta, she was put in touch with her family once again.

"It was extremely emotional," Manetta told NBC. "We were all sobbing. They’re so sorry I had to go through what I did during this time without them."

And the mystery behind her Australian accent was also answered.

"Apparently I have a long time of visiting Australia for extended trips," said Manetta. "I’ve been going there throughout my life."

Well we have some great news...PRAYERS have been answered!!!!"Sam" (Ashley is her name) and I want toTHANK you all ...

Posted by Found Woman with Amnesia-Help Find Her Family on Wednesday, July 1, 2015

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