‘Who Are You?’ My Fi­ancé Asked

A freak fall changed our lives for­ever ASKED MY FI­ANCÉ

Pick Me Up! Special - - News -

IT TAKES FOR I’LL WAIT AS LONG AS OUR LOVE STORY HIM TO RE­MEM­BER Our wed­ding was just days away

But­ter­flies flut­tered in my stom­ach as I switched my lap­top on.

For Aaron Field in the UK, it was morn­ing, but it was evening for me in Aus­tralia. ‘How about now?’ Aaron typed. It was the eighth time he’d asked me to marry him since we met in an on­line chat room in 2011.

I smiled. ‘We haven’t even met yet!’ I typed back.

I’d fallen for Aaron im­me­di­ately de­spite be­ing on op­po­site sides of the world.

‘Come visit me then,’ he in­sisted.

Tak­ing a chance on love, I flew from Queens­land to Manchester.

Aaron met me at the air­port and whisked me off my feet.

Not lit­er­ally of course. Aaron suf­fered from ill health and rheuma­toid arthri­tis.

But I wasn’t af­ter an ath­lete, and Aaron never claimed to be one.

In­stead, he took me sight­see­ing and amazed me by re­veal­ing that he could speak eight lan­guages.

Aaron had a mas­sive heart and a fan­tas­tic mind, and af­ter a few more pro­pos­als, I fi­nally said ‘yes’ at the top of Black­pool Tower.

‘I’m not rich or fa­mous,’ he said. ‘But you make me feel like a mil­lion dol­lars. Will you marry me?’

De­spite propos­ing a record14 times, he made it sound so new each time – how could I re­sist? He was the man of my dreams. I re­turned to Aus­tralia, tied up my life there and took a one-way flight back to my fi­ancé. We spent the next year plan­ning our wed­ding and fall­ing deeper in love with one an­other. I was so happy.

‘Can you dou­ble check all the RSVP’S?’

I said to Aaron one morn­ing, be­fore start­ing my shift as a cleaner.

It was just a few days be­fore our small cer­e­mony at the lo­cal regis­ter of­fice.

‘Don’t worry,’ Aaron said con­fi­dently. ‘I’ve got it cov­ered.’

Aaron edited his own mag­a­zine, so he was an or­gan­i­sa­tional whizz.

But later that morn­ing, Aaron

Aaron hadn’t a clue who I was

called. ‘I’ve had a fall, love,’ he

stam­mered. ‘My legs, they just went at the top of the stairs.’ I went home to find him in a daze. ‘I just blacked out,’ he said. ‘I fell at the top and woke up at the bot­tom.’

He had a nap, but woke with a sore head and he was slur­ring his words. Ter­ri­fied, I di­alled 999.

By the time we ar­rived at the hos­pi­tal for an emer­gency MRI scan, Aaron had lost feel­ing down his left side.

I was told I had to come back in the morn­ing.

‘He’s in the best place,’ the nurse said, as I fret­ted about leav­ing him.

Later that night they called to say Aaron was strug­gling to an­swer some ques­tions.

‘What’s his full name, date of birth, and ad­dress?’ they said.

I was stunned. ‘He doesn’t know his own name?’ I rushed back to Aaron. ‘Hi honey, how are you feel­ing?’ I said. He looked con­fused. ‘Who are you?’ he said. I felt sick. ‘I’m your fi­ancée,’ I said, calmly.

Aaron squinted. ‘When did that hap­pen then?’ he said.

I held back my tears and told him that we were due to get mar­ried in a cou­ple of days. He looked blank.

Within 24 hours, my fi­ancé had for­got­ten me.

Of course, the wed­ding had to be

post­poned. I couldn’t ex­actly ex­pect him to say ‘I do’, when he was say­ing ‘who are you?’

Aaron was put into re­hab for two weeks be­fore be­ing al­lowed home. He recog­nised me, but only as the woman who kept telling him she was his fi­ancée.

Ev­ery morn­ing, he’d wake up and look at me va­cantly.

‘I don’t know who you are,’ he would say. Through­out the day, I would tell him about our life, and the fog would start to clear.

The next morn­ing, he’d have for­got­ten it all. Within a week, Aaron was rushed back into hos­pi­tal with a se­vere headache.

An­other MRI showed shad­ow­ing on his brain.

‘Your brain has stopped com­mu­ni­cat­ing with your body,’ the neu­rol­o­gist said.

The di­ag­no­sis of a ‘func­tion­ing brain dis­or­der’ was lit­tle help. Aaron’s con­di­tion de­te­ri­o­rated. He strug­gled to walk and talk, and his mem­ory was gone.

‘I know I love you.’ Aaron said. ‘But you’re like a stranger to me.’

I cried my­self to sleep at night, won­der­ing if he’d re­mem­ber me in the morn­ing.

When he didn’t, I told him it didn’t mat­ter.

‘As long as you love me, you can learn to get to know me,’ I said.

But it wasn’t just me that he had for­got­ten about.

I had to show him how to get dressed, and even to re­mem­ber to brush his teeth. I’d stick post-it notes all over the house with re­minders for the day.

Af­ter watch­ing the film, 50 First Dates, I made scrap­book of our lives to­gether so that Aaron could look at it each day. It helped, and some morn­ings he’d wake up, give me a kiss and say; ‘Good morn­ing, Tasha’, and my heart would melt.

But a few months later, Aaron tripped and hit his head. He now suf­feres from mi­graines and needs a wheel­chair to get around.

On good days, he can just about hold a con­ver­sa­tion.

On bad days, he hasn’t a clue who I am.

Ev­ery day I won­der if he’ll re­mem­ber me.

When he doesn’t, those days are re­ally hard.

But I just tell him I love him, and hope that one day, he comes back to me. How­ever long it takes.

Tasha Clark, 36, An­gus, Scot­land

Ev­ery day re­minders

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