A man who is chronicling his mum’s battle with dementia has filmed the heart-wrenching moment she forgot who he was.
In the sixth episode of his YouTube series, Joe took his mum Molly out to “have some fun”, but the day spiralled downwards when the pair were eating ice cream and Molly said she didn’t know who he was.
Writing in the caption for the 25-minute-long clip, Joe said: “The day started out good until I started asking my mother questions.
“One question led to another until I heard the words that no child ever wants to hear.”
Molly was diagnosed with dementia aged 65. Now, aged 67, she lives in a nursing home and her memory is deteriorating rapidly.
Despite it being devastatingly hard, Joe decided to film his mum’s dementia journey and turn it into a weekly video series so that everyone can witness the struggles they face and to let others in a similar position know they’re not alone.
According to the Alzheimer’s Society there are around 800,000 people in the UK with dementia - and one in three people over 65 will develop the disease.
“You’ll laugh, cry and be shocked throughout this journey,” Joe wrote on his YouTube channel. “We hope to inspire and educate people on the effects of dementia for both the caregivers and the people with this devastating disease.
“To make an impact we had to let you behind closed doors and into our hearts.”
In his latest episode, published on 31 January, Joe was left heartbroken when his mum revealed that she didn’t know who he was.
“Do you know who my mum is?” Joe asked her while they ate ice cream.
“No, I guess, I don’t know,” his mum replied.
“My mum? You don’t know who my mum is?” Joe repeated.
“I don’t know, I’ll have to think about it,” she replied, before taking some time to think and then adding that she still didn’t know the answer.
Joe then asked his mum whether they were just friends, and if she remembered how they’d met.
Molly simply looked confused and asked whether they’d met at school.
“I’m your kid,” Joe responded matter-of-factly.
Molly then asked her son when he was born and where he went to school, before trying to provide a reason for why she couldn’t remember these things.
“I think it’s my brain,” she said. “It makes me feel sick to my stomach.”
Despite the devastating nature of the video, which clearly impacted Joe, he said he is going to “take this video series all the way to the end”.
“I know I’m not the first child to go through this with their mother or father and I won’t be the last,” he wrote. “I now know the loss and pain they felt when this horrible day finally came.
“This day I will never forget.”