New mum Rebecca Doig is unable to recognise her newborn baby daughter because she is suffering from advanced Alzheimer’s disease. The 31-year-old, from Australia, found out she was pregnant while having scans to investigate her memory loss. She was diagnosed with a rare form of the disease last August.
Rebecca gave birth to a healthy baby girl, Emily Rebecca, at a Sydney Hospital last Tuesday. But she is unable to remember anything about the birth, or the fact that she now has a daughter.
“She went from being an independent, outgoing and bright young woman to someone who doesn’t recognise her own newborn daughter,” said Rebecca’s husband, Scott, a council worker. “She now needs round-the-clock care, so the road ahead is going to be extremely difficult, but we take every day as it comes because there’s not a lot we can do about it. I have a wife and a little girl to look after.”
New dad Scott said that the couple first realised there was a problem when Rebecca began to forget where she had put everyday items like her handbag. After being diagnosed with the form of early-onset dementia, there was a 50% chance that the couple’s baby would be born with the same condition. At 14 weeks, they found out that baby Emily wasn’t carrying the defective gene, which is believed to have caused the disease in Rebecca.
Doctors say Rebecca is one of the youngest people to have suffered from Alzheimer’s, and the first to give birth at such an advanced stage of the disease.