From dates, people, to memories, the grand mal seizures she had been having made her forget all this and more.
If you have watched the Drew Barrymore and Adam Sandler starrer movie 50 First Dates, you would think that reminding your spouse of everything that happened in her life every day is romantic. But, in real life, it is a daunting thing, no matter how much you love them. Imagine how heartbreaking it can be to wake up next to a partner who has no idea of who you are when they wake up in the morning. For this couple in Kansas, this was a reality. But see how they found their own happily ever after.
A couple in Kansas have been going through something similar where every time Hannah Wallace has a seizure she loses a part of her memory. Her husband, Cody Reinert, wants his wife to fall in love with him again, writes PEOPLE.
Wallace was only 16 years old when she had the first seizure. She was initially given treatment and medication for epilepsy, but that did not change anything. She continued having seizures which were coupled with memory lapses. She says that on one occasion, she even forgot what year or day it was.
She also experienced grand mal seizures. The greater the intensity of the seizures, the worse her memory lapse was. "I’d be like, ‘Oh my God, how did I not even know my own [step]mom!" she said. "I’d forget my friends so it was really hard to keep or maintain a friendship sometimes." These seizures cause loss of consciousness and violent muscle contractions, according to MayoClinic. They are caused by abnormal electrical activity throughout the brain.
Even if she forgot people, those in her life remembered her. Reinert, who was her friend from preschool, definitely remembered. They were both studying at Hutchinson Community College in Hutchinson, Kansas. After a seizure, Hannah, 25, would forget about all the time they spent together. "She would have this look on her face like, ‘Who are you?’" Reinert said.
Her husband, who is 24, thought that starting over was "annoying", but eventually he began getting used those episodes. In fact, he started finding newer ways to make sure she remembered him again. "Like the next day after she had a seizure, I knew she wouldn’t really remember me so I brought over some cheesecake, which she had told me was her favorite," he said. "I would take her to her favorite restaurant because I knew what it was. She would say, ‘How did you know?’ And I’d say I just had a hunch."
Hannah's seizures have lessened over time. Eventually, doctors diagnosed that she had stress-induced episodes known as psychogenic non-epileptic seizures. The last one she has was a month before her wedding in July 2018.
The newlyweds spend their time with their dog, Baloo, and working. Just like Adam Sandler in 50 First Dates, Reinert too has made a montage of videos and photos of their memories together. He doesn't want her to forget about their relationship. "I’m hoping that I’ve done my best to have it ready," he added. "So she’ll know."