— -- A woman with amnesia and battling cancer who was found wandering in southern California has finally learned who she is after she and officials -- both at the local and international level -- spent months searching for her identity and family.
The woman, who called herself "Sam" since she was found by firefighters in Carlsbad, California, in February, has learned that she is Ashley Manetta, a 53-year-old woman who was born in Pennsylvania and later lived in Arizona and California, according to a Facebook page that has been leading efforts to reconnect her with her family.
Debbie Rough, a nurse at the hospital where Manetta was treated and the administrator of the Facebook page, told ABC News today that Manetta is now reunited with her family.
Manetta's American identity came as a surprising twist after authorities said they were concentrating on contacts in Australia since Manetta appeared to have an Australian accent and said she dreamed of and had random memories of the country.
"All of my initial dreams had to do with a lap pool swimming in a salt water pool in Perth, then Icebergs in New South Wales and in Cairns in Queensland and Byron Bay," she wrote on Facebook. “I also had many dreams of Hawaii living in a contemporary home there. Both Australia and Hawaii are extremely familiar to me.”
Manetta's nephew reportedly saw her on television and told his mom, who is Manetta's sister, local news station KNSD reported, adding that the sister then contacted authorities, and the FBI then connected the two in an emotional call together.
Manetta has been battling ovarian cancer, which was discovered by doctors at the hospital she was treated at after firefighters found her back in February, according to her Facebook page.
"The amnesia I have is called retro amnesia and doctors have seen this before with the kind of antibodies that were found on the volleyball sized tumor that was on my ovary," Manetta wrote on her Facebook page. "The doctors said it could have been growing for 5 years causing me to be forgetful of things."
The FBI, local police and Interpol had been trying to help Manetta find her identity and family since she was found in February.
The phone conversation between the long-lost sisters led to tears and details of her forgotten past, KNSD added. The station did not identify the Manetta's sister or her nephew.
How Manetta went missing was also not immediately clear.
She had to have emergency surgery to remove the tumor and some surrounding organs to help save her life, she wrote on Facebook, adding that she had been out of the hospital for three weeks and is receiving continued treatments to fight her cancer.
Manetta plans to live with one of her older sisters in Maryland, where she will continue with chemotherapy to treat her aggressive cancer, KNSD reported.
"She was just telling me she has a four-bedroom, large house and a lovely king-size bed waiting for me," Manetta told KNSD.
Manetta's relatives could not immediately be reached for comment by ABC News. The FBI's San Diego office did not immediately respond to ABC News' requests to confirm that the agency connected Manetta and her sister.