She lost her memory during childbirth, so her husband wrote a book about their love story so she could remember
This is like a real-life version of the Notebook, but with a few new twists – “Read this to me, and I’ll come back to you.”
Steve Curto wanted a way for his wife, Camre, to remember their 10-year relationship, everything from their first date to their wedding and the birth of their son.
Camre Curto’s past memories were basically lost after she suffered a seizure and stroke while giving birth to her son, and she had no idea who her husband Steve was – she also couldn’t remember their past together.
But she did understand that he was a very special person to her, as she later told him, “I don’t know who you are, but I know I love you.”
The last six words she spoke ended up inspiring a new book written by the couple that tracks their extraordinary love story, from its blissful beginnings to its heartbreaking setbacks.
“Everything in the book is a memory of what we’ve gone through and what I’ve missed,” Camre told Good Morning America of But I Know I Love You.
“I enjoy [reading] it very much, but … sometimes it’s hard for me because it shows me everything that we have been through and that I don’t have inside of me.”
The couple’s challenges began when Camre, 31, gave birth to their son Gavin, now 7, and went into eclampsia after suffering undiagnosed preeclampsia, which is characterized by high blood pressure, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Gavin was born via emergency C-section weighing just over 4 lbs., while Camre was placed in a medically induced coma.
When she awoke, both her long-term and short-term memory were gone, and she did not know who she or her family were — or that she’d just given birth, the couple told GMA.
Steve said that Camre’s recovery was slow, and she had to relearn simple tasks like cooking, brushing her teeth and getting dressed in the morning.
“We were sitting on the couch and she told me, ‘I don’t know who you are but I know I love you,”” he recalled. “That has always stuck with me. That has been the driving force behind everything.”
With help from her occupational therapist Jessica Smith and Steve, Camre has now relearned many basic functions, and is even able to remember Steve, 38, and Gavin.
“With my husband and son with me, that is what is getting me through all this. Every time I see Gave and Steve, there’s a huge smile on my face and inside me,” she told GMA. “The love of family is what means the most and what is getting me through the day.”
Camre suffers epilepsy and frequent seizures, and the medication she takes to control the seizures may also affect her memory, which makes her recovery process all the more difficult.
“One of the things that she always tells me [is] that it’s extremely difficult to not remember your son’s first steps or the first time he said, ‘Mama,’ because that’s really what moms talk about sometimes,” Steve said. “So we role play conversations and do them over and over.”
Their book, But I Know I Love You, was self-published by the couple in September on their fourth wedding anniversary.
“This is the true-life account of one man’s determination to create a family with the woman he loves even though she doesn’t have a clue who he is, or even that they have a child,” the book’s description reads. “Steve Curto proves that real love isn’t hearts and flowers, but showing up every day, doing what has to be done, and never letting go.”
If you’re interested in learning more, you can purchase a copy of their beautiful love story on Amazon.