On June 11, Riley Horner was at a dance when she was accidentally kicked in the head by a crowd-surfing student. She suffered a traumatic injury and subsequently had dozens of seizures. Over the course of countless hospital visits, at least one of her symptoms remains a medical mystery. Every two hours, Horner’s memory resets.
When Horner wakes up each morning, according to a report by WQAD 8, she believes that it’s still June 11, the day she was injured.
“I have a calendar on my door. I look, and it’s September, and I’m like, ‘Woah,’” said Horner, a teen from Illinois, during an interview.
Initially, Horner’s doctors believed that a concussion was responsible, and they sent her home.
“They tell us there’s nothing medically wrong,” said Horner’s mother, Sarah. “They can’t see anything.”
“You can’t see a concussion though on an MRI or a CT scan,” she added. “There’s no brain bleed; there’s no tumor.”
Horner carries all of her textbooks, notebooks, and a pencil with her during the school day because she can’t remember which locker is hers.
During school, she had to take detailed notes to keep track of her day. She also photographs some of them and has an alarm scheduled to go off every two hours, serving as a reminder to review what she wrote down or photographed to refresh her memory.
“I’m not making memories,” said Horner. “And I’m just like really scared.”
“My brother passed away last week, and she probably has no idea,” said Sarah. “We tell her every day, but she has no idea about it.”
“(Doctors) told us that she might just be like this forever. And I am not okay with that,” Horner’s mother asserted.
“I know it’s hard for them as much as it’s hard for me,” said Horner. “And people just don’t understand. It’s like a movie.”
“I will have no recollection of [this interview] come suppertime,” she added.