Her memory ravaged by damage done to her brain, Nikkiya Simmonds, 32, returned to an apartment that might as well have belonged to a stranger. It was a cozy dwelling, strewn with cute knickknacks and calming artwork that she was tickled to learn that she had chosen, that she was, indeed, home.
But learning the identity of the adorable, yet utterly unfamiliar infant who greeted her was haunting. The child was Ms. Simmonds’s 2-year-old daughter, Nikalia Harrison.
“I remembered being pregnant, but I didn’t remember her,” she said. “I felt real guilty.”
In March, Ms. Simmonds, with no prior history of epilepsy or convulsive episodes, was stricken by a grand mal seizure. The injury to the frontal lobe of her brain was so severe that her mind was purged of every memory of the previous two years, including the entirety of her daughter’s life.
After two months of hospitalization, Ms. Simmonds returned to a new life and a new reality; an eviction notice slipped under her door.
- Read her story in this Thanksgiving issue of The New York Times
- Learn about essential services Catholic Charities is providing to help Ms. Simmonds rebuild her life.