This is not a film: here is the moving story of the sixteen-year-old American who every morning does not remember what happened the previous day
It might seem like the plot of a film or a book, and instead, it is a true story. Losing your memory every night, not remembering anything that happens every day, are just some of the difficulties that Caitlin Little experiences every day in her sixteen-year-old life. With this article, we want to tell her story, highlighting the dynamics that have brought her here and explaining what the real and concrete consequences are in her life.
We will also clarify the role that your family has in your growth process and that of television and the Internet, which have made you a real media phenomenon.
Caitlin is a fourteen-year-old girl who lives in North Carolina with her family and leads a completely healthy life. As a true sportswoman, she often trains with her companions for running in and out of the city.
On October 12, 2017, during one of the training sessions, while practicing reaching her maximum speed, the young American clashed with one of her companions and hit her head on the ground.
The intervention of the rescue personnel is timely, and Caitlin is immediately taken to the nearest hospital to get more information about her situation, which, however, does not initially seem so dangerous. Concussions of this type can be prevalent among very young and above all, so lively kids.
The compromised part of the body is the head and, in particular, that very delicate area of the temporal lobe, which contains the mechanisms of memory functioning: it is the part above the ear.
It is the parents who notice that the daughter cannot remember things that happened shortly before: from opening the car door to what day she is. However, the doctors, while reporting a severe brain injury, responsible for Caitlin’s memory loss, ensure that everything would work out in a matter of weeks.
They think that this is the time necessary for the brain to restore the memory formation circuit and therefore reassure the family that it will have to wait for the prescribed time. The extent of the trauma also does not seem excessive, since it did not require any surgery.
Despite the wait, however, Caitlin’s conditions do not seem to improve. The girl vividly remembers everything that happened before the accident. Still, every morning, after an excellent alarm clock near her closest family and friends, she cannot remember what happened the previous day.
At this point, the doctors diagnose anterograde amnesia: it is a real pathology that manifests itself as a result of trauma, and that has no hope of recovery. The young American, therefore, cannot create new memories: she knows well what happened before that October 2017, but her autonomy in terms of consciousness does not exceed 12 hours.
The trauma suffered has affected the areas of the thalamus and hippocampus irreversibly, and there is nothing that Caitlin or his family can do to improve their situation.
However, the sixteen-year-old is in perfect physical shape and can lead a healthy life. The presence of the family at his side is fundamental, as well as that of the friends of which he still has a vivid memory.
After admission, therefore, it is necessary to find measures that can guarantee an absolute autonomy and, in any case, a dignified life. Her room is covered with post-its: it is a simple device, but very useful in these cases because it causes Caitlin always to have information about her life ahead of her, which she is no longer able to remember.
What hurts the most, say the parents, is precisely the fact of having to tell every day what has happened, witnessing each time the reaction of the girl who, as if it were the first time, painfully learns her state of health. This phase of the day was abandoned after a few weeks from the accident due to the parents’ choice.
The day goes on with their support: mom and dad take care of instructing their daughter about what she likes or doesn’t like to do and helping her as much as possible in leading a peaceful day.
Even writing a diary is a useful tool for these purposes: it acts as a memory warehouse. It allows Caitlin to read every day what has happened, also taking note of the day of the week, the lessons he is attending, and his habits.
The condition of Caitlin is not universal: it is, in fact, a rather rare pathology that can derive only from head injuries like his or possibly from the abuse of substances such as benzodiazepines.
His story is, therefore, very particular, and to get an idea of how he spends his life or how his family approaches his condition. The Fox8 television channel produced a series entitled “Caitlin can’t remember.”
It is a sort of documentary that follows and tells the story of his and his family to explain the living conditions in which he finds himself and the solutions adopted by parents and friends.
The family is, in fact, very open in this sense and is often found on television to answer questions from journalists and commentators. He intends to shed light on the story of his daughter and to show the public the difficulties inherent in their life since that October 12, 2017.
Caitlin’s story is theatrical, but what is important to underline is the support she receives every day from her family, friends, and teachers who work to ensure that she can continue her 16-year life in peace.