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Woman, 32, who wakes up each day thinking she is a child or a teenager

  • Amanda Richards doesn't remember that her brother died five years ago
A woman has been left trapped in the mind of a child after a hit-and-run accident left her fighting for life.
Amanda Richards is now unable to remember parts of her life and wakes up believing she is a child, or on other days a teenager.
The 32-year-old is still in hospital two months after the crash and recalls absolutely nothing of the past five years. 

Tragic: Amanda, pictured before her accident with her niece Zapphire Jones, has no memory of the last five years

Amanda is suffering from post-traumatic amnesia, a state of confusion which has left her unable to remember parts of her life. 
She does not remember her brother's death and at times even forgets her own name.
Her family fear she may never recover fully from the horrific accident.
'When we first went to the hospital, the only person Amanda recognised was me,' her mother Christine Johns said.
'I have worn the same perfume all my married life, and when she smelt it, she turned to me and asked, "Are you my mammy?".

    'Sometimes we go to the hospital and she is like a child. Other times she acts like she is 16 or 18 years old. 
    'Occasionally, she talks about the holiday to Hawaii she went on eight years ago.
    'But Amanda doesn't remember the death of her brother Tony, five years ago. 
    'They were so close 'we know she might have to go though all that grief again.'
    The mother speaking from the family home in Gateshead, added: 'Sometimes I have to remind her why she is in hospital. 
    'It brings it all back for me, and it is terrible. We want our lovely daughter back. But we don't know when she will wake up from this, or what the permanent damage could be.'

    Amanda has overcome most of her physical injuries, although her face still bears the scars. She has daily physiotherapy, and may need more surgery to her knee to help her to walk properly again. 
    However, doctors can't yet say if Amanda will recover her memory, and she is still receiving round the clock care.  
    'Sometimes I think I see progress - but then you see what you want to see,' said Christine, 54. 
    'We are worried that it will be like the film 50 First Dates, where Amanda gets her long-term memory back but can't remember what happens day-to-day.  
    'One of the hardest things is not being able to do anything to help. We can't even try to remind her of things, because that could affect her own memories.  
    'We took pictures into hospital for her but that is all we can do.'
    The crash happened on March 27, at around 7.20pm. 
    Amanda was walking along the road in Swalwell, Gateshead, when she was hit by a Toyota Yaris. The driver failed to stop.  
    She suffered injuries to her face, legs, hips, arms and back and was rushed to Newcastle's Royal Victoria Infirmary.  
    Mrs Johns said: 'Seeing her that night was the worst thing in the world
    'I didn't think she was going to live. She looked terrible. Her bones were broken, her face was scraped and she had swelled up from the pressure on her brain.'
    'Amanda's father Harry Johns, 56, added: 'I couldn't bear to see Amanda for a week after the accident. I just couldn't face going into her room.'
    Amanda, a cleaner for the Listening Company in Newcastle, spent ten days in a coma in intensive care, and then almost a month on the high dependency unit.
    Five weeks ago, she was moved to the specialist neuroscience ward at Walkergate Hospital. 
    Mrs Johns added: 'Amanda is still suffering from the crash. And it is not just her - it is all her family and friends. So many people love her and ask after her.'
    A 17-year-old man and a 40-year-old woman were arrested and questioned in relation to the crash, which was initially investigated as a hit-and-run. Both have now been released on police bail.
    Mrs Johns called on any witnesses to come forward.


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