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Woman’s memory completely wiped after waking up from coma following common viral infection

Woman’s memory completely wiped after waking up from coma following common viral infection

She had her life thrown upside down when she became unwell with a seemingly simple illness

We all get a sense of dread when we suddenly feel ourselves coming down with something, knowing that there are many illnesses out there that seem inescapable.

After all, you could be as fit as a fiddle, but if you’ve got a young child returning home from school, there’s not really much you can do to avoid the inevitable illnesses – likewise with anyone who spends all day sitting next to sniffly colleagues in the office.

But one woman in Australia had her life turned upside down when she became unwell with a seemingly simple illness, having been left with terrifying memory loss.

Nicole Caird, from Brisbane, was 43 when she went on the trip of a lifetime with her family, spending two-a-half weeks in Europe for a skiing holiday.

However, after suffering flu-like symptoms from a cold sore virus, she fell into a coma.

When Nicole woke up, she felt severely confused, and was unable to recognise even her closest family.

Nicole Caird slipped into a coma after being struck by a common virus (Nine)
Nicole Caird slipped into a coma after being struck by a common virus (Nine)

"I didn't know where I was, who I was," she told Nine's 60 Minutes back in 2011.

Nicole couldn’t remember key milestones from her life, including her two daughters as babies or their first steps.

Her new memories would only last a matter of minutes, meaning her memory would constantly reset.

As a result of the virus attacking her brain tissue, Nicole found out she was suffering from encephalitis - inflammation of the brain.

When asked what she hoped for the future in the resurfaced interview, Nicole replied: “Just to be the person that I was.”

In a LinkedIn post last year, Nicole’s husband Brad thanked the company he works for - for the support he and his family had received ever since Nicole fell ill, while also sharing an update about his wife.

Nicole with husband Brad (Nine)
Nicole with husband Brad (Nine)

“Only twelve months after starting at Cisco, my family's world turned upside down,” he explained.

“My wife Nicole suffered a life-altering brain injury resulting in instant memory loss and memory retention of no more than 30 seconds. In 24 hours, I became the primary caregiver to our girls, who were only 11 and 13.

"It was an incredibly uncertain time for my family, but Cisco stood by me through it all, offering a level of support I could have only dreamt possible.”

He added: “Nicole spent the first nine months in hospital and then returned home for five years with full-time care.

“Nicole continues to be a tremendous inspiration to all as she fights to improve every day, and although still requiring supported care, she never has, nor will she give up trying to improve!”

Featured Image Credit: Nine

Topics: Health, Science, Australia, Life, Real Life