Woman lost her memory in childbirth so her husband wrote a book about their love story
Steve and Camre’s love story began over 10 years ago.
Unfortunately, Camre lost her memory during childbirth, and she couldn’t remember any of it.
Instead of losing faith, Steve figured out a way to help her remember their journey so far. The 38-years-old man from Michigan wrote a book named “But I Know I Love You”. The book is filled with memories of the couple’s love story from the very beginning.
His wife Camre, 31, enjoys reading the book, but sadly she still doesn’t remember any of the moments they shared.
In an interview for Good Morning America, Camre says:
“Everything in the book is a memory of what we’ve gone through and what I’ve missed. 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.”
Oddly, there were no signs for alarm until the third trimester of Camre’s pregnancy. Then, only 33 weeks into her pregnancy, Camre’s throat began to swell up, causing difficulty breathing. Steve rushed her to the hospital, and Camre went into a grand mal seizure.
After the successful C-section that doctors managed to perform, baby Gavin was born, weighing a little over four pounds. Unfortunately, after the seizure, Camre suffered a cataclysmic stroke which affected both sides of her brain. According to her occupational therapist, Jessica Smith, her memory was completely wiped out.
Jessica Smith, a therapist at Galaxy Brain and Therapy Center in Ann Arbor, Michigan, told ABC News:
“She couldn’t recall memories prior to her brain injury and she can’t remember short-term memories now. What happened to her is extremely rare.”
After she gave birth to little Gavin, Camre spent 30 days at the hospital. Meanwhile, her baby was in the NICA for 36 days due to being prematurely born.
Later, Camre was underdiagnosed with preeclampsia – a pregnancy-related high blood pressure condition that reduces blood flow to the fetus. She went into eclampsia caused by the stroke she had. The 31-year-old mother was intubated and put in a medically-induced coma.
At first, they weren’t aware of the full extent of Camre’s memory loss. Talking about this harmful experience, Steve explains:
“When they brought her out of the coma, and she started to wake up, something wasn’t right. She had no idea who she was or that she had just given birth. She didn’t know who I was or who her parents were.
I basically lived at the hospital. They want the child to bond with the mom after birth but Camre wasn’t able to bet there, so I did skin-to-skin with him and did all the feedings.”
Just like her son Gavin, Camre was behaving like a newborn too. She couldn’t remember simple things like getting dressed or brushing her teeth. In the first months of her recovery, she stayed at her parent’s house, while Steve was taking care of Gavin at their home.
One night, after recalling a conversation they had, Steve’s focus was re-framed and he was determined to make things work. He remembered his wife saying “I don’t know who you are but I know I love you.” He shares:
“That has always stuck with me. That has been the driving force behind everything.
When I met Camre, she made me want to be a better person and that’s what I loved about her. Then this happened and I just wasn’t going to give up hope that we could regain what we had. This girl, she has no idea who I am but she loves me and we’re going to make this work.”
Happily, Camre is making huge progress. Thanks to constantly jotting things down, role-playing conversations over and over, and sharing a calendar on her phone with Steve, she remembers both her husband and her son.
However, it wasn’t always easy for them. Camre realized she lost her memory about two years after she gave birth. This was an extremely painful moment for her. She has also been suffering from epilepsy and frequent seizures, having to take multiple medications.
According to her therapist, now it’s all about getting her confidence back.
“When you first meet her and you’re talking with her, she’s really funny and good at playing it off and you don’t know initially that she’s had this significant diagnosis. One of the things that she always tells me that it’s extremely difficult to not remember your son’s first steps or the first time he said ‘Momma,’ because that’s really what moms talk about sometimes.”
Having in mind her unbearable situation, Camre never lost hope. Her favorite song “Everything’s Gonna Be Alright” by Kenny Chesney is helping her get through these difficult times. The song’s lyrics are lifting her spirits and keeping her hopes high.
Today, nearly seven years after losing her memory, Camre shares:
“With my husband and son with me, that is what is getting me through all this. Every time I see Gavin 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.
No matter how hard things are or have been and can be, you just have to give yourself hope and keep going, taking each day at a time. I just tell myself everything is going to be okay and I move toward that.”