A mother who woke from a coma with no memory of her teenage daughter has thanked the firefighters who saved her life.
After being involved in a near fatal car accident Candace Emptage came out of a six week coma thinking it was 1996 and she was 22 years old.
She believed that Princess Diana and Michael Jackson were still alive and the Spice Girls were the top of the charts, and was stunned when she learned that she was a 36-year-old mother to a 14-year-old daughter called Maddie.
Candace, now 40, of County Durham, said: "Shock doesn't even come close to what I felt. They told me I had a daughter and I just stared at them and said, 'what?'"
Candace was put into an induced coma after she lost control of her car and crashed into an ambulance in Gateshead in September 2010.
Her condition was so serious that doctors told her parents that they needed to consider turning off her life support machine at Newcastle General Hospital. But she pulled through and began to recover.
Candace's brain injuries meant that she had no memory of her life after 1996 and she couldn't remember becoming a mother.
"Eventually one image of Maddie, who was 14 at the time, came back to me," said Candace. "But she was a tiny little girl of about two.
"When she came to the hospital I had no idea who she was, I just couldn't believe I had a teenage daughter.
"I still have no memories of her before the crash, and it has been hard."
Now Candace has met the men and women of Swalwell Community Fire Station, Gateshead, who cut her free from her car four years ago.
"I wanted to say a huge thank you, I owe them my life," she said. "I can't remember anything about the crash and I need to know what happened. It has been a huge comfort to know that I wasn't alone that night.
"This whole time I believed I had been alone that night without any real human contact but it all came flooding back to me when I saw their faces."
Candace has undergone months of intensive physiotherapy and speech therapy and still has no feeling down the right hand side of her body, but is now back home with her daughter Maddie and has begun driving again.
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