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Friday, May 27, 2022

‘I forgot my husband after horror accident – but fell in love with him again’

Couple holding hands

A woman who was left in a coma after a horrific accident woke up with her memory wiped – forgetting her own husband.

Angela Sartin-Hartung, now 55, was hit by a car while crossing the road in Oklahoma back in October 2013.

The tragic accident left her fighting for her life and in an induced coma – but when she woke up a month later, she had no memory of the previous 15 years of her life.

Despite having husband Jeff Hartung by her side, Angela couldn’t recall the previous decade they’d spent together due to a brain injury. In fact, she thought he was a doctor, The Sun reports.

Thinking she was a 36-year-old mum to a toddler and an eight-year-old, Angela couldn’t comprehend that she was actually 51, and her kids were 17 and 23.

She also thought she was still married to her first husband John, who had died in 1998.

Meanwhile, Jeff was in turmoil. While he was relieved his love had woken up, he was heartbroken she couldn’t remember their time together.

And after doctors warned him many marriages don’t survive memory loss as extreme as Angela’s he felt hopeless.

Despite having no idea what was in store for them, Jeff stuck by his wife – but it wasn’t always easy.

Angela recalled: “The man I’d fallen in love with at university and married in 1985. When I heard that he’d died fifteen years earlier in 1998, the grief just hit me. Nothing was making sense.”

She also had to learn for the second time that her beloved father had died three years earlier, and was suddenly faced with the fact that her daughter Abigail and son Phillip were grown up.

But although she was confused by what had happened to her, she said her heart told her she could trust Jeff.

As he coached her through the next months of her life, Jeff introduced Angela to Evan and Maggie – the two children of Jeff’s that the pair had raised together since they married in 2001.

When she was well enough to go back to the home she shared with Jeff, Angela described feeling overwhelmed by how the house had changed.

But in a decision that “just felt right,” she shared a bed with her husband from their very first night back at home.

As the pair got to know each other again, Jeff told Angela how they’d met in church a few years after John had died, and described how he’d proposed to her in an atrium filled with trees and flowers.

In June 2018, after falling madly in love for the second time, Angela and Jeff renewed their wedding vows at a ceremony in Central Park, New York.

“Saying my vows to this man who made me feel safe and cherished, who had never wavered, was the easiest thing in the world,” Angela said.

Now, the couple thinks that Angela’s memory loss has allowed them to find an even stronger love which has given them something greater.

Jeff said: “Through it all I was given the opportunity to step up and grow. Without a doubt it’s made me a better man.”

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