Pretty Taylor, 18, lost almost all her memory two years ago after a fall — and can still recall very little of anything that happened to her before she was 16.
Following the accident, she could still recognise close family but had to relearn everything else.
She says: “I didn’t recognise my friends, house or dogs. I had to be shown how to use cutlery, do my shoelaces — and even write.
“It was so confusing. I felt like I was from from another planet.”
Taylor has the genetic Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome and nervous disorder Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome — which make her prone to blackouts.
Before finding correct medication, it was during a blackout that she fell and hit her head on a bath, wiping her memories.
Taylor’s mum, Jane, 52, says: “When she woke and didn’t know anything I thought, ‘This is what you see on telly, not in real life.”
Taylor recognised Jane, dad Steve, 50, and sisters Ashley, 21 and Becky, 20, but knew nothing about them. Jane adds: “It was like having a toddler. I had all the why’s, where’s and what’s all over again.
“She would know she was hungry but if I would suggest a sandwich, she wouldn’t know what that was.
“She remembered no holidays or birthdays. She once burned herself by getting a hot pan out of the oven because she didn’t know she could get burnt.”
Taylor was not brain-damaged and could still read and talk but had forgotten the words for many objects, foods, animals and places, going to Google to relearn them.
She says: “Going to the supermarket was fun, as it was full of stuff I didn’t recognise. I’d ask Mum, ‘What’s this? Do I like that?’
“But Christmas was bizarre. I was so confused that we had a tree in the living room.”
Taylor adds: “I had quite bad anger about my situation. Everyone had to do everything for me. When I tried, it wouldn’t work. I needed help but didn’t want it.”
Mum Jane adds: “There was a time when Taylor was really hard to live with, because of her frustration. But she got therapy.”
Life was difficult. Taylor explains: “I didn’t want to leave the house in case I ran into someone who knew me and I didn’t recognise them.
“Going back to school was terrifying. Imagine how scary it is to be with a bunch of strangers, bombarding you with questions, when they know you and you don’t know them.”
But since then, Taylor has rebuilt her life in extraordinary fashion.
The former straight-As student got seven GCSEs despite returning to school just three months before her exams, having forgotten all she had been taught before.
She is now at college studying for a media diploma, works part-time in Topshop, has learnt to drive and enjoys an active social life.
She says: “I hated that my accident defined me so I tried my hardest to get on a college course. It has been a fresh start.
“I get a little glimpse of the past and have to ask Mum if it is a dream or memory. But it’s not photos that prompt it — looking at albums still feels like looking at others’ pictures.”
Doctors do not know if Taylor will ever get back all her memory.
Searching online, Jane has found only two similar cases — one where the girl got hers back after three years, and another where a woman never fully recovered. But Taylor says: “I’ve got used to the fact my old memories will not come back. I used to hope they would but now I don’t care.”
Dad Steve, a carpenter, adds: “Taylor has rebuilt her life and we are so proud.”
She now hopes to go on to university, and feels she could live on her own.
Taylor says: “I’ve now got so many new memories — and want to keep making more of them.”