Three decades into their marriage, Christine and Gary Newman were still as in love as the first day they met. Their life was happy and full of joy, thanks to their three children and six grandchildren they saw every week. Then one day, their perfect life was taken from them forever.
Gary worked in construction building houses for a living. One day while working back in 2015, he was attacked by a relentless fly. “It was just a fly, right?” So he thought. He simply swatted it away and kept working. Little did he know, just hours later, the memory of his wife and children would start slipping away.
Later that evening when Gary arrived home, he told his wife he wasn’t feeling well and went to bed without dinner. Hours later, Christine woke up to the horrible sight and sound of her husband seizing.
She called 911 and Gary was rushed to the hospital. Days of testing produced no answers, until four days later Gary mentioned the fly. The doctors then realized he’d been bitten by a blood-sucking Blandford fly, usually only found in Europe.
Gary had contracted a herpes virus from the fly’s bite and a serious case of encephalitis–a rare reaction that causes the brain to swell from inflammation.
Gary wasn’t released from the hospital for three weeks, but once he got home, was in bed on a strict antibiotics treatment. It was then that Christine lost the love of her life. Gary lost all memory of who she was. This wasn’t Alzheimer’s or dementia, it was a bug bite. Really? No memory? She was dumbfounded.
In a recent interview, Christine says that things have only gotten worse. “He cannot smell or taste. He can’t communicate very well with people. He knows I’m his wife, but he doesn’t remember me at all. I do everything for him now and it’s very, very stressful, yes.”
“Every morning, I think I’m in a dream. I just hope I’ll wake up and everything will be back to normal,” said Gary.