A Wellingborough woman says she feels as if she is living out Hollywood blockbuster 50 First Dates because she wakes up every morning thinking it is the same day.
Amnesia sufferer Nikki Pegram woke up today, as she does every day, believing it is October 15, 2014 – the day she whacked her head on a metal pole following a routine operation on her knee.
Like Lucy, played by Drew Barrymore, the 28-year-old has to relive the same day over and over again with the help of her groundskeeper partner Chris Johnston, 39.
But the mum-of-one, of Wellingborough, says her life is no romantic comedy.
She said: “Every day when I wake up, I have no idea that actually nine months have passed and it’s 2015.
“I’m the real life Drew Barrymore in 50 First Dates, but amnesia is not as fun and comical as the film makes it look.
“I’ve missed Christmas, family holidays and even my own birthday because I can’t remember anything after the accident.”
Each morning Nikki has to rely on a memory notebook explaining what has happened to her - otherwise she thinks she’s still in 2014 and 27 years old.
Her anterograde amnesia is so severe that father to her child Chris has to spend hours every morning explaining what year it is.
At first Nikki said she thought he was playing a prank on her.
Anterograde amnesia is a loss of the ability to create new memories after the event that caused the amnesia, leading to a partial or complete inability to recall the recent past, while long-term memories from before the event remain intact. This is in contrast to retrograde amnesia, where memories created prior to the event are lost while new memories can still be created.
And ever since her head injury nine months ago, she has no idea the royal baby Charlotte was born, that Zayn has left One Direction or that we now have a Conservative government.
In October 2014, Nikki, a former pub manager, fell over and hit her head on a metal pole outside Kettering General Hospital - after she’d been seen for a knee injury following a kick boxing lesson.
She said: “I remember having my knee looked at getting the results of the X-ray, but after that everything is a blur.
“I’ve been told I was waiting for Chris to pick me up, during that time, I must have lost my balance and fallen over - but I don’t remember any of that.”
When Chris arrived to pick her up, doctors were crowded around Nikki, who was then rushed back inside the hospital - this time to be treated for head injuries.
After a two-hour-long seizure and various scans, she was discharged the next day and told she had short term memory loss – and wouldn’t remember anything that happened before the accident.
She added: “The hardest part of every day is learning that I no longer have a job, that’s it’s now 2015 and that I’ve missed my birthday.”