Weird and Wacky Wednesday – July 28
Dad, 36, loses 20 years of memories after waking up and thinking it’s the 1990s
Daniel Porter, 36, thought it was time to get up for school when he woke up next to his wife Ruth last year after losing every memory they had made for the past 20 years. A dad woke up one morning to get himself ready for school believing it was the 90s after having two decades worth of memories totally wiped. Daniel Porter, 36, suddenly lost 20 years due to a rare brain condition.
The man from Texas, US, awoke next to his wife Ruth, 37, in July last year – but had no idea who she was, or where he was living. He also had no recollection about anything that had happened since he was a teenager – but his partner says he is now more friendly and social than he was before.
The hearing specialist thought it was time to get ready for school and had no memory of his wife or daughter, Libby, 10. The mum was forced to convince Daniel that he hadn’t been kidnapped and that she was his wife with the help of his parents.
Thankfully Daniel has been retaining memories since – but still doesn’t remember the 20 years before that including his wedding day and the birth of Libby.
His wife said, “He woke up one morning and just had no idea who I was or where he was. He was very confused. I could tell he didn’t recognize the room. He thought he was either drunk and gone home with a woman or that he’d been kidnapped. I could see him looking for an escape route. I worked out he thought it was the 90s because he remembered a WWE program, so I researched when that was aired. I helped him get dressed and he thought I was putting him in my husband’s clothes and my husband was going to come home any minute. Luckily, we were on his parent’s farm so they could confirm that I was his wife and he believed them but he had no idea that he had a daughter and he was scared of our dogs. He was angry when he looked at himself in the mirror. He was asking why he was old and fat.”
After taking Daniel to hospital, Ruth discovered he’d suffered Transient Global Amnesia, a sudden, temporary interruption of short-term memory and the pair were told to expect that he’d have his memory back within 24 hours.
As well as losing memories with his loved ones, including meeting Ruth in 2006 at Walmart where they both worked and their wedding in 2007, Daniel has lost all memory of his education and has had to give up work as a hearing specialist. Ruth has been trying to help Daniel get back some of his memories by driving them around his old neighborhood and reintroducing him to friends.
She said, “He doesn’t remember meeting me, getting married, getting pregnant, buying our first house, our daughter’s birth or 9/11. It’s weird because I’m in an old relationship and he’s in a new one. He hid Libby’s birthday presents a week before he got amnesia so when her birthday came, we couldn’t find them because he couldn’t remember where he’d put them. His personality is different as well. He has different tastes in food, it’s really strange but his sense of humor is still good. He’s more friendly and sociable, he loves going out but he didn’t use to.”
Daniel had started having stress induced seizures in January 2020 after losing his job, selling his house to move in with his parents and suffering with a slipped disc in his back. Ruth said, “We had a really traumatic year in 2019. Daniel lost his job so we sold our house and most of our possessions and we moved to Missouri for work but we didn’t get paid so we ended up stranded with no friends or family around. I knew that when people have been through trauma that they can lose their memory of it but I didn’t know it could cause 20 years of memory loss. He’s going to therapy to see if working through the trauma can help but it’s hard to work through stuff you can’t remember.”