Drew Barrymore’s character has a weird memory condition that makes her relieve the same day every time she wakes up. This pretty much the basis of the romantic comedy 50 First Dates. It’s a pretty interesting concept for a film, but in real life it would be considered a nightmare. Unfortunately, 19-year-old Jess Lydon has to go through something similar to this every day.
Instead of returning to the past, Jess is actually trapped in the present. She has been affected by a rare condition known as Susac Syndrome that only allows her to remember what happened in the past 24 hours. Needless to say, this is highly upsetting to Jess and her family. It gets so bad sometimes that she cannot remember what she had for dinner the previous night, or what she did on Christmas and for her birthday. Looking at family pictures confuses her, as she can’t recollect any of the events that took place. The worst part is that although she split up with her boyfriend almost 2 years ago, she wakes up thinking they’re together every morning. Imagine having to relive a heartbreak every single day of your life.
Susac syndrome is a brain disorder so rare that only 250 cases have been reported so far in the world. And victims like Jess suffer a lot more than just memory loss. She’s also had severe headaches and dizziness, for which she was rushed to the hospital and had to endure three months of tests. What actually triggers the condition is not known. It may disappear in five years, or cause even more serious problems like loss of sight and hearing.
Jesse Lydonn (photo by Hanna McKay)
It’s strange that a while ago, we wrote about this lady who remembers every single thing that happened in her life. And now there’s Jess, who only remembers 24-hour’s worth of events. They’re both equally sad situations. I guess too much or too less of anything is hard to live with.