Grandmother Suffers Amnesia And Loses Nearly 40 Years Of Memories

A 56-year-old woman has lost the memory of nearly 40 years of her life after losing consciousness in a church car park.

Kim Harris Denicola was leaving her bible study group in Baton Rouge, Louisiana last October when she blacked out. She awoke thinking that is was 1980 and that she was an 18-year-old again.

When she came to in a hospital bed, she thought that the last four decades since her final day of high school hadn't happened yet.

That meant that her husband of 14 years, David, was a stranger to her. She also had to cope with the realisation that her parents had died some years earlier.

Mrs Denicola - the manager of a food packaging company - has been diagnosed with transient global amnesia and doctors have told her that it is unlikely that those memories she has lost will ever return.

Though she remembers the three-month period after her awakening, she has had to re-learn and re-develop her relationships with her children and five grandchildren.

Kim Harris Denicola. Credit: SWNS/Kim Harris Denicola
Kim Harris Denicola. Credit: SWNS/Kim Harris Denicola

She says that she became unwell outside the Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Church, she developed a headache and her sight started to go blurry. That's the last she says she can remember.

She said: "I called my husband and told him I had a really bad headache, one of those excruciating, don't-know-what-to-do headaches.

"He told me not to drive and to ask one of the ladies to take me to the hospital.

"Apparently I went up to my bible study friend and said: 'Is there any possible way you can take me to hospital?', and she did."

Mrs Denicola in 1980, the last year she remembers. Credit: SWNS/Kim Harris Denicola
Mrs Denicola in 1980, the last year she remembers. Credit: SWNS/Kim Harris Denicola

Despite recounting her ordeal, she has no actual recollection of it. She explained that when she awoke she thought that she had just left school to go home on her final day.

She continued: "I was leaving school and heading for my car, I had just taken an exam because I was graduating my senior year.

"The nurse asked me: 'Do you know what year it is?', I said: 'Yes, ma'am it is 1980'.

"She asked me who the president was, and I said: 'Ronald Reagan'."

Mrs Denicola with her husband and stepson. Credit: SWNS/Kim Harris Denicola
Mrs Denicola with her husband and stepson. Credit: SWNS/Kim Harris Denicola

On top of that, her husband then arrived, but she didn't remember him.

After multiple scans and examinations, doctors are still baffled as to what has caused this memory loss.

Obviously, as well as her family, there is a lot to learn.

She explained: "There's the coolest thing called FaceTime.

"I saw my oldest son Justin for the first time just before Christmas. I haven't met my son Jonathan yet because he is in the navy.

"I didn't know who Donald Trump was and I didn't know who Barack Obama or Bill Clinton were either.

"It's been very interesting to see how different it is from the 80s now, how much things have changed."

Despite all her problems, she is upbeat about the future.

She said: "I have been through so much pain, but my husband and my family's support has seen me through it.

"Maybe one day I'll get those memories back, maybe I won't. But I'm taking each day as it comes.

"I am slowly putting names and faces together, and I'm learning how to live in 2019."

Featured Image Credit: SWNS/Kim Harris Denicola

Tom Wood

Tom Wood is a freelance journalist and LADbible contributor. He graduated from University of London with a BA in Philosophy before studying for a Masters in Journalism at the University of Salford. He has previously written for the M.E.N Group as well as working for several top professional sports clubs. Contact him on [email protected]

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