Wednesday, 27 Sep 2023

N.C. Teen Wakes Up Every Day with No Memory of the Day Before After Getting Hit on Head in 2017

On Oct. 12, 2017, North Carolina high school freshman Caitlin Little was at cross-country practice when some teammates were fooling around and she was hit in the temple.

Immediately, she began losing her memory. When her mother, Jennifer Little, picked her up from practice that day, Caitlin, then 14, couldn’t remember how to open the door to her family’s van.

Since that day, Caitlin has been unable to remember anything: the day of the week, the names of food in the kitchen or what class she is attending at Southeast Guilford High School in Greensboro.

Despite numerous visits with multiple doctors across the country, they have not yet found a solution to her condition — a form of amnesia caused by a traumatic brain injury that resets her brain while she sleeps, causing her to forget everything that happened the day before, according to Fox8, which has produced a 12-part series and podcast, Caitlin Can’t Remember.

When the teen wakes up each day, she thinks it is the day after the injury occurred, Oct. 13, 2017. “Hey, sweetheart, you got hit on the head during cross-country practice and you’ve been out of things for a while,” her father Chris Little says while gently rousing her from sleep.

Caitlin maneuvers through her day with the help of sticky notes on everything in the house.

Sarah Little, her sister, tells Fox8: “It’s like living in Alice in Wonderland. Because in there they have ‘eat me,’ ‘drink me,’ ‘use this’ and that’s all of her sticky notes everywhere — ‘use this,’ ‘you’ll really like this.’ It’s sort of what you do.”

“I have Post-it notes that say, ‘Do this or this is new,’ things to help me out,” Caitlin tells Fox8. One note says, “Don’t wear your big sister’s shirts, it gets on her nerves.”

In scenes from her school day, Caitlin asks what class she is in, and forgets how long she’s known a cross-country teammate.

Caitlin is now in Texas with her parents, meeting with a team of doctors for yet another form of therapy. “We’ve had two days of all day treatments and doctors are very hopeful!” her mother wrote early Friday morning on a verified GoFundMe page created to help with medical expenses.

Caitlin’s mom says her current treatment is $1,000 a day and is expected to continue through next week. “Folks have asked how to help. Prayers are BEST!” Jennifer writes. “If you feel like doing more, then this is best place right now. Neither one of us are working right now and things are adding up fast…We will find a way to do this and continue to trust God to lead us.”

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