For the past three months, Riley Horner, a teenage girl from Illinois, has been waking up every morning thinking it’s June 11. To make matters worse, her memory resets every couple of hours, so she can’t even remember things she did or people she met that very day.
Riley’s troubles began after she got accidentally kicked in the head by a teenager who was crowd-surfing during a dance at the FFA State Convention. She was taken to the hospital, but doctors there only diagnosed her with a concussion and sent her home with crutches. Tests showed no brain bleed, tumor, or anything else out of the ordinary, but Riley’s family soon noticed that there was something wrong with her. It was like her brain was suck in the past and refused to make any new memories. But apart from her memory constantly resetting, Riley has also experienced dozens of seizures in the last three months.
I’m not making memories and I’m just like really scared,” Riley told WQAD. “People just don’t understand. It’s like a movie. Like I will have no recollection of this interview come suppertime.”
“I have a calendar on my door and I look and it’s September and I’m like ‘Whoa,’” the teen added. “I’m very confused and I try to think back and I can’t.”
Riley’s symptoms have baffled doctors, as they can’t even figure out what’s wrong with her, let alone try to fix it. The teen’s mother said that at first doctors told them that her memory might get better as time passed, but it’s been three months and her condition has not improved. Now they’re saying that she could stay like this forever, which is something Riley’s mother cannot accept.
The young girl has been struggling to deal with her condition, but even the simplest of things are really difficult under the circumstances. She always carries detailed notes with her at school, so when her memory rests every couple of hours, she can go over the things she needs to know, like how to find her locker. Almost everything Riley has experienced since June has been wiped clean from her memory, and she can’t even remember tragic events like the death of her uncle.
“My brother passed away last week, and she probably has no idea,” Riley’s mother, Sarah, said. “We tell her every day, but she has no idea about it.”
“We need somebody that knows a little bit more because she deserves better. I mean she wanted to be in the medical field and now she can’t even hold a job if she wanted to,” the desperate woman added.