Rare condition wipes woman's memories - so she doesn't even recognise her own husband

By Richard van Rensburg
13 July 2017

When she came to, she told the nurse, "That doctor over there is nice." It was her own husband.

In January 2014 she was having a conversation in bed with her husband when she had a sudden and inexplicable fit.

Since then, her life has never been the same.

Sally Hobson (39) from Claygate, Surrey in England, now suffers regular episodes robbing her of her memories.

That fateful winter’s night she had her first episode, Sally had been getting into bed next to her husband of two years, Neil.

They’d just started chatting when something strange happened: her words were clearly pronounced, but the sentence coming out of her mouth made no sense whatsoever.

Neil immediately realised something was very wrong with his wife and called an ambulance. Emergency doctors at first thought she’d had a stroke, but when she started convulsing uncontrollably in the emergency room, they were forced to put her in an induced coma.

When she woke up six weeks later – after being transferred to another hospital’s neurological unit, with Neil by her bedside the entire time – large parts of her life had been erased from her memory. She couldn’t even her wedding day and older memories were also vague.

When she first came to, she didn’t recognise many of her loved ones.

“I said to the nurse, ‘That doctor over there is nice.’ It was Neil,” Sally said recently, speaking about her ordeal to British media.

After treatment and constant attention from Neil (41), she slowly came to realise that she must know and love Neil – even though she can’t remember much of their life together.

Sally’s since been diagnosed with uncontrolled epileptic seizures, probably caused by a viral infection. She has seizures up to seven times a month – and every time she does, a little more of her memory is erased.

“This condition is so unfair,” says Sally, formerly a retail manager. “I suffer severely, both long and short memory loss after seizures.

This condition seems to worsen with every seizure, each episode taking away a little more of my life. I don’t remember my own wedding day, birthday parties I’ve had, any hobbies I have.”

She remembers mundane tasks such as getting dressed and brushing her teeth, but much of her life are missing from her memories.

She also forgets names and events shortly after they’ve happened. It’s pointless trying to read a book, she says, because she forgets the first paragraphs before she reaches the second chapter.

She says this memory loss leaves her confused and feeling lonely.

“As a sufferer, it’s hard to cope with the look in the eyes of someone you love when you tell them you don’t remember something that’s precious or obvious to them – like a holiday you enjoyed together, someone you both know or a milestone in their life.

“You rely on others to tell you about your past, so you’re almost continually living in a story land.

“Neil has shown me our wedding photos over and over,” she says. “We used to go to Cornwall a lot, so we visit there. I don’t remember it, though.”

Sally can no longer work and mostly spends her days at home, taking a cocktail of epilepsy medication.

She’s woken up bloodied on the bathroom floor after a seizure. But she’s thankful for her blessings, she says – her husband, family, and friends have been her saviors.

“However, I may not remember the past and struggle to plan ahead, but I am learning to be grateful for the moment and to savor this moment in time,” she says.

Sources: Epilepsy Societypostperhour.comMailOnline, Facebook, YouTube,

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