Dementia is a terrifying disease that pains everyone to imagine their loved ones going through.
Whether it be yourself, your grandparents, or mother, the loss of memories and mental abilities can feel like the loss of person, as Joey Daley expressed after his mum Molly forgot who he was.
While filming a video diary of their journey with the disease, Joey ‘heard the words that no child ever wants to hear’.
It is difficult to watch the agonising moment when his mother forgets who Joey is, expressing a complete lack of memory of their relationship as well as with her husband (Joey’s father).
After seeing the profound response Joey’s story had on people, I spoke to him to find out more about why he gave the world a window into the most intimate moments, and how he was feeling.
45-year-old Joey explained the purpose of his video diary:
These videos are for my Mother, People suffering with Dementia and people who have died from Dementia. They deserve that the world knows the suffering they went through. That’s what drives me.
I didn’t want my Mother to suffer and die in Vain. I hope she can help Millions.
Molly, from Dublin, Ohio, is 66 years old and has been suffering from Dementia for the last seven years, but Joey said that the last two years have been the worst for her deterioration.
The video shows the mother and son go out on a journey to the mall, she gets her haircut before they sit down for some food.
Joey asks his mother ‘do you know who my mum is?’
She looks confused and says she doesn’t know, to which Joey replies, ‘Do you know who I am? You know who I am though right?’.
His mother shakes her head, and when asked where they met, she makes a guess that they met at school.
Joey reminds her that he is her son and you can hear his heart fall apart and him breaking down as she reveals her loss of memory.
After the video went viral, Joey was overwhelmed with responses from people who related to the video and who were reaching out to help him.
Joey, self-employed, said:
I’m overwhelmed by the response and how many good people are in the world. I have over 100 emails in the past 3 hours of people giving support.
A couple people also said they would like to take me out for a beer and Dinner. Others have left me their phone number if I need someone to talk to.
So many good people in this world!
Watch the painful but insightful moment below…
Most people found the end of the video, which shows the painful moments by himself in the car after dropping his mother home, where he shouts through tears ‘She knows my name but doesn’t know who I am’, particularly hard to watch.
When I asked him to explain how he felt when she forgot who he was, he replied:
When she didn’t know I was her Son it seemed like a death, It was a weird feeling of emptiness that’s hard to explain. I never excepted in my lifetime to have my Mother not know who I was.
Of course it’s sad when she forgets things but I just go with it and try to finish her sentences for her. I want her to feel as normal as possible.
Despite going through a very difficult time, Joey is standing by his ‘big mission to educate the world on Dementia’, saying he will ‘pull myself together and carry on’.
If you would like more information about these degenerative diseases, or would like to donate, visit the Alzheimer’s Society.