A teenager wakes up every morning thinking it is 11 June as her memory “resets” every two hours after she was kicked in the head.
Riley Horner, 16, has no recollection of the day she suffered a traumatic head injury after she was hit by a student crowdsurfing at a dance.
She has woken every morning since believing it is still 11 June – the day her life completely changed.
The former athlete and student, from Illinois, in the US, now has to keep detailed notes and photos with her at all times, and has a two-hour timer set on her phone.
Every time the timer goes off, Riley reads back over her notes to remind herself of everything she’s just learned but forgotten, including where her locker is.
“I have a calendar on my door and I look and it’s September and I’m like ‘woah’,” she told WQAD 8 news channel.
“People just don’t understand, it’s like a movie,” she added. “Like I will have no recollection of [this interview] come supper time.”
The teenager’s mother, Sarah Horner, said doctors have told her there is “nothing medically wrong”, although she added: “You can’t see a concussion through an MRI or a CT scan.”
She told WQAD 8: “My brother passed away last week and she probably has no idea. We tell her every day but she has no idea about it.”
“They [doctors] told us that she might just be like this forever and I am not OK with that,” she said.
“I’m not making memories and I’m just really scared,” Riley said.
Riley’s family are hoping to get a diagnosis from someone “who knows a little bit more” by the time it has been six months since the accident happened.
According to brain injury charity Headway, the greatest visible progress is made in the first six months after a brain injury and then any improvement becomes less obvious.
However, the charity said the common belief that there is a “limited window” for recovery after a brain injury is now known not to be the case, and that people can improve for years afterwards.
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