Dad Forgot He Had Baby Daughter After Work Accident

14/08/2014 17:00 | Updated 20 May 2015

Dad forgot he had baby daughter after work accident

A dad who lost his memory after a work accident has been keeping a diary so that he can remember who his toddler daughter is.

Luke Shinnie, 35, from Worcester, was seriously injured when heavy machinery fell on him at work in June 2012.

He was rushed to hospital unconscious, but when he came round he didn't recognise his fiancée, Sarah, or their baby daughter Zoe.

Recalling visiting her partner in hospital, Sarah said: "At first I was so scared that he would never remember us. It's one thing not to recognise me but the thought of him not remembering Zoe was heartbreaking.

"I had to show him pictures of him with myself and Zoe and told him stories of things he had done in the days and weeks leading up to the accident to try and jog his memory.

"I told him about playing with Zoe in the house and what he had been doing at work. I don't know what triggered his recollection of us but I can't describe how relieved I was and still am."

Luke was released from Worcestershire Royal Hospital but had to return two days later after suffering extreme dizziness and vomiting.

As a result of the trauma Luke suffered symptoms including mood swings, depression and short-term memory loss.

Sarah, 31, said: "When I first turned up at the hospital he didn't even recognise me at all - that was horrible.

"Although he remembered me within a few days, for the first six months he was nothing like the man I had fallen in love with, it was horrible.

"But I knew that I had to stick by Luke and together we'd make it through."

Luke suffered damage to his brain's visual cortex, causing him short-term memory loss and forgetting how the incident happened.

Although his long-term memory had mostly returned within six months, Luke still struggled to retain day-to-day memories - and was devastated to have forgotten baby Zoe's first birthday, despite his family filming the event.

Luke said: "Not remembering Zoe's first birthday was the worst thing that could happen to anyone.

"Watching the video doesn't help much as it's just like watching someone else's family. Even though I'm in the video, I don't remember a thing."

To try and build up his memory, Luke had to write down everything he did and had to do during the day.

After being diagnosed with Post-Concussion Syndrome, he also suffered dizzy spells, excruciatingly painful migraines and disrupted sleep.

The couple was helped by therapists at brain injury charity Headway and have since been able to rebuild their lives.

Now Luke has a new job, where he was promoted after one month, and is looking forward to his wedding.

He said: "I can't thank Headway and the NHS enough for the work they did with us.

"They were a Godsend for us, I don't think we would have been able to get through all of this without them."

Sarah added: "We've got a new son on the way in the next three weeks so we're both really excited. What I'm most looking forward to is us being a family again and building for the future."


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