So when quintuplets were born, Ontario society was stunned. The citizens had never seen a similar case and had never imagined that it could happen.
Annette, Cécile, Yvonne, Marie, and Emile, Dion were born two months premature on May 28, 1934 by Dr. Alan Roy Dafoe.
With the help of Canadian women, who were able to donate breast milk and experience, as well as Canadian Red Cross nurses, the babies became the first recorded birth of quintuplets – who survived – in the world.
As they grew older things did not go well. The five little sisters attracted the intense interest of the Canadian government from the very fourth month of their lives.
They separated them from their natural parents under the pretense of protecting them from exploitation.
Despite being healthy, they were confined to a specially designed hospital, reminiscent of an amusement park, which was open to tourists. The place was named “Quintland”, which loosely translated means “the land of quintuplets”. Kopitsia was the biggest tourist attraction for 9 whole years!
They were under the constant supervision of doctors and nurses, where they cared for them but at the same time checked the physical similarities and differences they had between them.
Cecile, one of the sisters, confessed some years later that she first learned the word “doctor” and then said “mama”.
In the decade 34-44, about 3 million people visited “Quintland”. Visits were allowed three times a day. No one ever touched the children, they were behind a large glass wall. On rare occasions, to please people, they dressed them in the same clothes and let them simply say their names to visitors.
Their development and survival was now of worldwide interest. Newspapers constantly informed the world about the progress of their health. Their pictures were everywhere.
It is said that within a decade, both the government and local businesses benefited close to half a million dollars from the Kopics. Of that amount, not one dollar ever went to them.
Later in a book, sharing their shared experiences, they openly accused their parents of verbal and sexual violence and other forms of abuse.
The Ontario government, however, later apologized for forcibly removing them from their family.
In March 1998, he compensated them with $4 million for the years they spent as a tourist attraction behind glass in a theme park.
Annette, Cécile and Yvonne, older Emile became a nun and died in 1954. Mary died in 1970 of a blood clot and Yvonne died in 2001. As of December 2014 only two of the five sisters were alive. Annette and Cecile.
Watch the documentary entitled “Million Dollar Babies”, with real images of the children from their everyday life, through the years. A true – tragic tale.-