A teen was forced to re-learn her own name after a series of seizures completely wiped her memory.
Jessica Sharman, 19, was on the Tube to work when the seizures struck, leaving her unable to remember even her own name.
She had to ‘meet’ all her family again, and was left struggling with her relationship after she had no memory of her boyfriend.
Jess, who was diagnosed frontal lobe epilepsy in 2010, was later told she had retrograde amnesia.
The recruitment worker from Tunbridge Wells, Kent, said: “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.
“I felt so alone with no idea of my personality, my strengths and weaknesses, or my likes and dislikes.”
After the seizure on March 3, she had to stop working, re-learn everything about her personality and ‘meet’ her parents Lisa, 49, and Gary, 56 again.
She even had to start dating her boyfriend of five months Rich Bishop, 25, a recruiter, all over again, because he was a ‘stranger’ to her.
She added: “I’ve been told that Rich held me up on the tube then took me to the office.
“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.”
Lisa, who works in retail, convinced her daughter they were related by showing her photos of them together on her phone.
Jess says: “I had no idea what I looked like so I had to examine my reflection to check the person in the photos matched before agreeing to get in the car.
“Sensing my fear, Mum put a reassuring hand on my knee, I shrugged her off.
“The gesture felt too intimate from a stranger.”
Jess even failed to recognise her name when her parents addressed her.
She struggled to rekindle her relationship with Rich, and says the first time she saw him was difficult.
She said: “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.
Two weeks after her diagnosis, Jess attempted to break things off with Rich.
She added: “I saw no way it could work.
“To me, he was still a virtual stranger.
“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.”
Eventually, Jess fell back in love with Rich, but the worry that she could lose her memory again remains.
Jess said: “Medics confirmed that the series of seizures had triggered my memory loss and it may take six months to return – if it returned at all.
“It also meant there was a 50 per cent chance I could lose my memory again in the future.
“I was horrified.”
In October, ‘the six-month’ period of Jess’ amnesia had passed – but she admits she still hadn’t recovered any memories.
“I try not to dwell on it because that won’t get me anywhere – the same way that worrying about my memory going in the future won’t help anything.
“At work, I still have days where I forget things in the short-term, like who I’ve just spoken to on the phone or why I went into a room.
“But 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.”