Camre Curto of Michigan went to give birth to her child and woke up with no memory of who she was or that she had given birth.
Editor’s note: This article was originally published on July 16, 2020. It has since been updated.
The birth of a child is probably one of the happiest moments in a couple's life. When that water breaks and you scuttle about to get the bag to head out to the hospital, you are probably nervous and scared and happy, all at the same time. Even as you are in the labor room, your husband is probably just as excited and hopeful while they hold your hand through the process. And at the end of it all, you get to take home a lovely bundle of joy. However, what if this dream of a happy home takes place but with some conditions?
A couple, Steve and Camre Curto, from Michigan, found themselves in a strange situation when the wife lost her memory during childbirth. So, the husband did something to show his wife how much he loved her.
"We were expecting to have a child. Two regular people in love. Excited! And one day she developed swelling in her throat," Steve said. However, their unfettered happiness was stunted. Camre started vomiting frequently during the third trimester and during the 33rd week of her pregnancy, her throat began to swell and she was having difficulties breathing, according to Good Morning America. The mother-of-one had developed pre-eclampsia, a rare complication from pregnancy that often causes high blood pressure and sometimes seizures.
By the time, they got her to the hospital, it was too late, said Steve. Camre underwent an emergency C-section to save her and their son, Gavin's life. However, the mother had a grand mal seizure and a stroke. Fortunately, their little boy was born "perfect" at four pounds one ounce. "Healthy little preemie," Steve said.
While the baby was thriving, the mother had a swelling in her brain that caused memory issues. She had been put into a medically-induced coma, because of which medical professionals were not aware of the extent of memory loss. She lost both short and long-term memories. When she woke up, she didn't remember who she was, who her parents were or her husband, or that she had just given birth.
"She doesn’t remember our first date. She doesn’t remember our baby shower, or what happened in the hospital [that] week," Steve told WNEM.
So, the devoted husband did something to help jog his wife's memories. Of course, it is nearly impossible for her to remember their 10-year relationship but a man can try. So, he wrote a book But I Know I Love You, which he self-published and released on their wedding anniversary in September 2019.
"Everything in the book is a memory of what we've gone through and what I've missed," Camre Good Morning America. "I enjoy [reading] it very much, but right now with everything, it’s kind of mixed feelings. Sometimes it’s hard for me because it shows me everything that we have been through and that I don’t have inside of me."
"She couldn’t recall memories prior to her brain injury and she can’t remember short-term memories now," said Jessica Smith, a therapist at Galaxy Brain and Therapy Center in Ann Arbor, Michigan. "What happened to her is extremely rare."
When Camre was released from the hospital, she went to live with her parents while her husband and son would visit. During one of those visits, the father-of-one got the idea for the book.
"We were sitting on the couch and she told me, ‘I don’t know who you are but I know I love you,'" said Steve. He used the last part of the sentence as the title of the book. "That has always stuck with me. That has been the driving force behind everything."
Steve, Camre, and Jessica became a team in trying to help the mother get her life back. "She’s got her personality back and she’s able to be a mom to Gavin, which is the best thing to see," said Jessica.
October 25, 2019
All those years ago, she had wanted to be a mom and while she had given birth she didn't feel like a mom. However, her family's efforts have paid off and she is appreciative.
"With my husband and son with me, that is what is getting me through all this," she said. "Every time I see Gave and Steve, there’s a huge smile on my face and inside me. The love of family is what means the most and what is getting me through every day."