Woman gets engaged to her husband again after losing her memory in freak accident

Photo / Facebook

Photo / Facebook

It's a story reminiscent of the romantic drama of The Vow, where a Canadian woman who was married loses her memory in a freak accident — and then rediscovers her love for her husband again.

Laura and Brayden Faganello were happily married for nine months, but her husband became a stranger to her when she woke up in bed after.

On April 2017, the 23-year-old suffered a traumatic brain injury when a pole fell and hit her when she was setting up for an event in Langford.

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(Visit our fb page for background! 😊)⁠ .⁠ Before the accident Brayden and I dreamt of having a photography/videography business. We weren’t very successful, and weren’t sure if we would ever make it. After the accident I could no longer work a normal job, but needed both an extra income to contribute and a passion project to get through the long days I spent sick in bed. I decided to give the business my full attention.⁠ .⁠ Every morning I would wake up, grab my laptop, and learn about becoming a wedding photographer. At first, I could only focus for 15 minute increments before I needed a 3 hour break. Those measly 15 minutes of focusing had the power to make me so ill I would cry for hours. Once the tears were done, I would grab my laptop again to learn some more.⁠ .⁠ I pushed myself until I could work longer with less breaks. I learned how to run a business, how to pose couples, edit, and everything else that was important in capturing weddings. I became so excited and passionate about our growing business. We started booking clients, and quickly filled up our wedding season. Before the concussion we only managed booked 4 weddings for the summer. The summer after my concussion, we booked 28. All the hard work and learning had paid off; all the hours I put in as I wiped away tears from the pain was worth it. I was happiest when I was working, and am so grateful for the passion photography brought back into my life during such a hard period. I cried happy tears when my photos won awards; not because it felt amazing to place, but because I knew the journey that led to producing those images. ⁠ .⁠ I was asked recently why I love capturing weddings. After feeling the pain of losing my own memory, I fell in love with the idea that I was capturing the most important moments of my clients lives. I loved the idea that they will use our photos and videos to remember every precious moment of their day. I treat every wedding I shoot with such love and respect because I would give anything to have a clear memory of mine. I treasure my role in recording these special moments for others, and love the opportunity to give the “gift of memory” to my clients. ⁠ ⁠

A post shared by Brayden & Laura (@faganelloproductions) on

"I remember the sound that it made as it came down on my head, I've honestly had nightmares of that sound ever since," she told Chek News.

The next few weeks were fuzzy for her, with her memories becoming mixed.

"My next clear memory is of waking up thinking I was 17 years old, and not knowing who Brayden was," she wrote both on a Facebook post and Love What Matters.

"A rush of panic took over my body, I couldn't say a single word. 'Who are you?!' I wanted to scream.

She said he said good morning to her, but was confused by how calmly this stranger looked at me.

"My head was pounding, and I had to stumble to the bathroom to throw up. I saw my belongings mingled with his, our wedding album laying on the coffee table.

"This wasn't the first morning I woke up after the accident (I can't even remember it!), this was just a normal daily occurrence for us.

"Nearly every morning I woke up gasping in fear. Sometimes I screamed, sometimes I cried, and sometimes I was lucky enough to remember I wasn't in danger.

"I felt like I was stuck in a hazy nightmare I couldn't escape."

Over the course of the next two years she had to learn how to read, write and speak coherently again,

Laura also had to learn to live with the short- and long-term memory loss, cope with constant pain and come to terms with the fact she was married to someone she truly didn't know.

"I went through a period of anger and depression; I felt like so much had been ripped away from me. I desperately hoped my memory would come back, that someday I would look at Brayden and remember everything. Unfortunately, that has yet to happen," she wrote on Facebook.

Brayden, 25, told Chek News that it seemed like Laura was afraid of him and he did things like leaving her little notes each day to support her and bring her back to him.

"She was scared when I'd say, 'have a good day, I love you'. That scares her, just that phrase, because she doesn't have any emotional attachment," he said.

"I was committed to her, I loved her and that hadn't changed," he said.

After her bout of depression, she one day woke up crying, wiped away her tears and told herself she didn't want to be a victim anymore.

She realised she couldn't stay married so someone she didn't remember choosing.

"It's really hard to feel completely devoted to a marriage when you feel like you just woke up to it one day," she said.

"Even though I didn't really know who Brayden was, I saw how kind and patient he was with me. He was sweet and silly and quirky, and I wanted to try to make it work."

Laura decided to take off her ring and told her husband she wanted to start dating him again, so they did - starting with a round of mini-golf.

"We started going out to dinner, going on long walks and drives, and binged way too many episodes of The Office and Parks and Rec," she wrote on Love What Matters.

"I would ask him the most random questions I could think of to learn about him, and he would patiently listen when I told him the same stories over and over. He read me my favourite books before bed, and left me sweet notes every morning before he left for work.

"One day, I realised that I had started missing him every moment we weren't together. I was giggling at all his jokes, and bragging about how amazing he is to whoever would listen. I started to love him again. The process took a while, but it was so incredibly worth it."

Laura said Brayden became her best friend, her crush and then her love all over again.

"I haven't miraculously gotten my memory and all my old feelings for him back, but I have new feelings and new memories. I've learned that love is a choice, and I am choosing to love Brayden," she wrote on Facebook.

After a summer of dating, on August 20, Laura announced that Brayden proposed to her — and she said yes (again).

"We have learned that love is a choice, and we are choosing to love each other, again," she said.

"He has supported me through my highs and lows, and has shown me the meaning of unconditional love.

"We have turned the hardest trial of our life into the most beautiful blessing: the opportunity to fall in love with each other a second time.

"I'm so grateful for our new beginning and for the happy future we have ahead of us."

The couple plan to re-marry in July 2020, which happens to be the fourth anniversary of their first wedding.

This article was first published on the NZ Herald and is republished here with permission.