Memory loss is a sad thing. We see Alzheimer’s and amnesia portrayed in films like “The Notebook,” but what happens when those Hollywood scenarios cross over into real life?
This is exactly what happened to 56-year-old Kim Denicola. A wife and grandmother, Kim’s experience with memory loss sounds like something from a Nicholas Sparks novel.
It all started in October of 2018 with a headache. The pain led to blurred vision and eventually landed Kim in a hospital in Baton Rouge after she blacked out in a church parking lot.
When she woke up, Kim had no recollection of the past 40 years of her life. When a nurse asked her what year it was, it was as if Kim had traveled back in time.
According to Inside Edition, when Kim woke up she was asked, “Do you know what year it is?” And she said, “Yes, it’s 1980.” She knew Ronald Reagan was president and believed she was 18.
She didn’t remember anything about the past 40 years of her life. Her wedding, children, grandchildren… everything was just gone.
“It’s kind of depressing because you think you’ve lost all those years,” Kim told WAFB. “I have two biological children that I didn’t know I had.”
Her husband, David Denicola, was heartbroken when he realized his wife didn’t recognize him. While he’d hoped showing his wife some old photos would bring back her memories, even this wasn’t enough.
In the end, Kim was diagnosed with transient global amnesia, a condition Mayo Clinic describes as “a sudden, temporary episode of memory loss,” though the temporary part isn’t the case for Kim so far.
Kim has had to relearn everything from who her family is to how to use technology to how to work the family business. Still, she’s kept a positive attitude despite all she’s lost.
“If the memories don’t come back, I can make new ones,” she told Inside Edition. We hope her memories do come back, but if they don’t we’re glad she has a hopeful outlook.
Our hearts go out to this family as they continue to rediscover life together. As far as this condition is concerned, two risk factors include age (people over 50) and a history of migraines.
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