Jessica Sharman suffered a seizure last March, causing the young woman’s memory to be wiped clean.
Sharman, 19, from Tunbridge Wells faced the mammoth task of re-learning her entire life, including her relationship with her parents and boyfriend, whom she had forgotten.
Jessica was diagnosed with frontal lobe epilepsy in 2010 and suffered a seizure last March while her and her boyfriend, 25-year-old Richard Bishop were commuting to work, SWNS reports.
Bishop acted quickly, holding Jessica up before taking her to the office. Despite his efforts, Jessica suffered severe memory loss.
Jessica recalls the moment she failed to recognise her own mother, saying:
I didn’t know what was going on. Momentary amnesia was normal for me after seizures. But an hour or so later I saw this woman running towards me I had no idea who she was.
It was my mum, and I just stared at her blankly.
My world fell apart that day. I was faced with strangers claiming to be family, telling me things about myself that meant nothing to me.
Only after seeing a series of family photographs was Jessica convinced of her relationship with her parents, Lisa Sharman, 49, and Gary Sharman, 56.
It took a little while longer for Richard to persuade Jessica of his affections after her retrograde amnesia. Jessica struggled to reignite her romance with Rich, and says the first time she saw him was difficult, saying ‘To me, he was a virtual stranger.’
They left me alone with him and I hated it. He was a stranger to me. Rich took me to what was supposedly our favourite park but I wouldn’t even walk next to him. When he held my hand I pulled away.
He was devastated and adamant we could get back what we had. Seeing how passionate he was convinced me that he must care for me, so I agreed to date him, but made no promises.
Jessica still worries that her diagnosis will result in further memory loss, but is remaining positive and reassured that her family and Rich will help her tackle anything in the future.
I have recovered a life for myself with the help of my family and, of course, Rich. I feel so lucky that he knew me well enough to stand by me even when I thought of him as a stranger. He practically lives at my house now and our relationship is going from strength to strength.
Having gotten through the last year, I know I can deal with whatever happens in future. For now, I want to focus on creating new memories.
It just goes to show, the care, compassion and love of friends and family can overcome the most horrifying obstacles.
Here’s hoping Jessica makes a full recovery.
A former emo kid who talks too much about 8Chan meme culture, the Kardashian Klan, and how her smartphone is probably killing her. Francesca is a Cardiff University Journalism Masters grad who has done words for BBC, ELLE, The Debrief, DAZED, an art magazine you’ve never heard of and a feminist zine which never went to print.