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For a 60 year-old Japanese man, it is a story of what might have been had he not been switched at birth.

The story of his actual life is laced with hardship and loss. His father died when he was two and he – and two older siblings – were raised in a one-bedroom apartment by a single mother who depended on welfare to get by. The only luxury, he recalled, was a radio.

As a young adult, he worked in a factory while attending night school to eventually become a truck driver. He never married.

But it could have been a very different life – one spent with his long-lost biological family, where the children were raised in wealth, with private tutors and university educations.

"I might have had a different life. I want [the hospital] to roll back the clock to the day I was born," the unnamed 60-year-old told Japanese media, according to an AFP report.

This week, a Japanese court ordered that the hospital pay the man $316,830 in damages following the mix-up 60 years earlier – which, the court argued, deprived him of contact with his biological family and an opportunity to get ahead.

"[The mix-up] caused mental distress by depriving him of an opportunity to gain a higher education although his original family was wealthy," the judge ruled earlier this week.

The story of how the mix-up came to light is itself remarkable.

Two babies were born in a Japanese hospital in March 1953 thirteen minutes apart.

The wealthy family took home the baby they thought was theirs and would later have three more sons.

The three sons began to doubt that their older brother was their real brother based on his different appearance.

As adults, they went through the Japanese courts to gain access to hospital records.

Following DNA testing, they were able to confirm in 2009 that their oldest brother – who benefited from growing up in a wealthy family and went on to head a real-estate company – was not their biological brother. Instead, it was the 60-year-old man who was raised in a poor family and endured a life of hardship.

The former truck driver has been in a state of shock ever since. His biological parents have long since died.

"As I saw pictures of my [biological] parents, I wanted to see them alive. I couldn't hold back tears for months every time I saw their pictures," he said, according to AFP.

The four biological brothers have talked about making up for lost time - and together launched a lawsuit against the hospital that resulted in the award this week. Part of the award would have gone to the parents of the four. But because they are no longer alive, their share of the award will go to the biological brothers of the 60-year-old truck driver.

He, as it turns out, has not turned his back on his siblings he thought were his biological relations for decades. While the woman who raised him has passed away, he has reportedly supported one of her sons who has suffered a stroke.

Perhaps most remarkably, both families - the so-called wealthy and poor families - separately had some inkling of a mix-up.

The mother from the privileged background who raised four boys with her husband told her sons that she had doubts about their oldest brother - "the newborn baby, when he was brought to me, was wearing clothes different from those I had prepared," she reportedly told her younger sons.

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