A 32-year-old mother of three awoke from a coma believing she was still 19 and it was 1998.

Sarah Thomson, from Exeter, had no memory of Chris, her husband of ten years, or of her children Michael, 14, Daniel, five and Amy, four.

She had been unconscious for ten days and undergone emergency surgery after malformed blood vessel connections burst in her head.

The experience wiped 14 years from her memory – so she believed the Spice Girls were still at the top of charts, had no memory of the millennium and was unaware that Michael Jackson had died.

Now, however, she has fallen in love with her husband all over again and is remembering more every day.

‘When the children came to see me I just had no idea who they were,’ she said, having forgotten everything that had happened since the year of her son Michael’s birth. ‘I thought they were somebody else’s children.

‘I kept calling them the wrong names, and had no idea why they were so pleased to see me. Eventually I asked if they were mine, and when I was told I couldn’t believe it.

‘I was 19 when I had Michael, so I got very confused when they brought him to see me. I was expecting him to be my little baby.’

Ms Thomson had no recollection of recent events in pop culture that are now part of our everyday lives. She had never heard of X-Factor, for example, and knew nothing of the Royal Wedding.

Closer to home, the relieved family crowding around her hospital bed were a complete mystery.

‘I took one look at my brother and said, “You’re bald”. I told my parents how rough they looked too, It was like they’d aged overnight.

Looking at herself in the mirror was also a huge shock, as her face seemed to her to have aged 14 years overnight.

She did not recognise IT technician Chris, 34, and still believed she was with her ex.

‘He was always around me, so I just assumed he worked for the hospital,’ she said.

‘My mum explained who he was, but I had no recollection of meeting him, or marrying him.

‘I had to fall in love with him all over again really. He took me to all the places we’d be too when we first got together to try and jog my memory.’
It was November when Ms Thomson suffered a blood clot as a result of an Arteriovenous malformation in her brain, a collection of malformed connections between arteries and veins which can burst at any time.

She remembers looking at some pictures on the computer when she ‘felt something ping’ at the back of her neck and began seeing splodges in her vision.

That Christmas, she realised she loved her husband again.

‘I told him I loved him for the first time at Christmas after my op,’ she said. ‘It felt like I was saying it to him for the very first time. I had butterflies.’

Recuperating has been a long and difficult process, however.

‘It’s a bit weird when I wake up each morning and see a stranger lying next to me, but it all comes flooding back after a while,’ she said.

‘He’s been amazing really, helping me get myself together. I feel a bit like a teenager at the moment, I dye my hair all different colours and can get really moody at times, so he’s certainly had to get used to the new me.

‘But he’s stuck by me through it all, he’s just been amazing. Music triggers things, and Chris kept a diary when I was ill which helps.

‘A while back I had a bit of a meltdown because I was fighting trying to remember the person I was, but I realised I can’t let what happened define me. I have to accept what happened, and try and make new memories.

‘Every minute I was like, “I can’t believe this has happened, or I can’t believe that person is dead!” It was just so confusing.

I had no idea who Simon Cowell was or all these X Factor shows.

‘I loved EastEnders but I had no idea what was going on, who the characters were or anything.

‘I remember more and more each day, I’m just enjoying being with the my children and Chris, and taking each day as it comes.

‘I watched videos and look at pictures to try and remember what I used to be like with them, but sometimes its like watching a different person.

‘I want to give hope to other people – you can get through this.’