Man with short-term memory loss uses notebooks to help him remember – National

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Chen Hong-zhi’s notebooks are his life.

9 years in the past, Chen severely broken his hippocampus, part of the mind related to forming reminiscences, in a site visitors accident.

The 26-year-old has misplaced the power to make and retain short-term reminiscences. As an alternative, he painstakingly information his days in lined notebooks, filled with entries in blue ink.

“I take advantage of the pocket book to recollect who I helped right now, how a lot farm work I did, whether or not there was rain … the pocket book is my reminiscence,” mentioned Chen, who lives together with his stepmother, Wang Miao-cyong, 65, in a distant village in Hsinchu County, northwestern Taiwan.

“I as soon as misplaced one in all my notebooks. I used to be so unhappy that I used to be crying and requested my dad to assist me discover it.”

Since his father died 4 years in the past, Chen and his stepmother have lived on a authorities incapacity allowance and a small earnings they get from farming fruit and greens, which they barter with neighbors, a few of whom name Chen “pocket book boy.”

A pocket book of 26-year-old Chen Hong-zhi, who suffers from short-term reminiscence loss, exhibits his day by day notes at his residence in Hsinchu, Taiwan, July 31, 2018.

REUTERS/Tyrone Siu

Dr Lin Ming-teng, head of the psychiatry division at Taipei Veterans Common Hospital, mentioned Chen has made outstanding progress regardless of his intensive mind harm.

“From the X-ray, we will see a big a part of his mind in black – these are the sections that have been operated on after the site visitors accident,” Lin mentioned.

“After shedding such a considerable portion of his mind, it’s fairly superb for him to attain what he’s doing now,” Lin mentioned, including that Chen may solely bear in mind issues he had carried out within the final 5 to 10 minutes.


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Lin mentioned the harm had additionally affected Chen’s capability to obtain and course of data.

“This has an impact on his relationship together with his mom, too, as generally his mom can not recover from the truth that he forgets issues,” Lin mentioned.

Chen Hong-zhi, 26, who suffers from short-term memory loss, quarrels with his stepmother Wang Miao-cyong, 65, while writing his notes at his home in Hsinchu, Taiwan, August 17, 2018.

Chen Hong-zhi, 26, who suffers from short-term reminiscence loss, quarrels together with his stepmother Wang Miao-cyong, 65, whereas writing his notes at his residence in Hsinchu, Taiwan, August 17, 2018.

REUTERS/Tyrone Siu

Wang longs to return to her hometown in Indonesia, however she feels she can not depart Chen alone.

“If I depart, who will care for my son? I can’t think about his future after I die.”

For now, Chen’s notebooks permit him to protect some semblance of order in his life.


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“October 26 go to Beipu alone, Chen clan group, go discover telephone, go Catholic church, Citian Temple, 10:38 ZZZ,” reads one poignant be aware a few day he spent trying to find, and praying to search out, his misplaced cell phone.

Ten days later, he discovered his telephone, documenting the discover in his pocket book, after all.

(Reporting by Tyrone Siu in Taipei, Writing by Anne Marie Roantree, Enhancing by Karishma Singh)

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