Since June 11, 2019, Riley Horner had been waking up every morning under the mistaken impression that it was still June 11, 2019.
A boy who was crowd surfing at a dance in Springfield, Illinois on that particular date fell and landed on top of the teenager, who was taken to the hospital by ambulance.
Riley was sent home after the doctors performed a few tests and found nothing was wrong, but she wasn't.
Riley's mother Sarah reported that within a few hours of leaving the hospital, Riley experienced between thirty and forty-five seizures.
When the sixteen-year-old woke up the following morning, it was as though the horrific events of the previous day had never occurred. It was June 11th, as far as she knew, and she planned to attend a dance that evening.
Her memory would repeatedly reset to that date every two hours in the days that followed.
She would go to her phone and discover numerous updates on her Notes app to catch her up on everything that had happened since the accident when she realized that wasn't the date.
In an interview with Fox News, she said, "I have notes on my phone; when I got up this morning there's like thousands of notes."
Riley's family looked far and wide for a physician who could treat her medical condition, and in the end they located a team in Utah who performed a battery of tests to make the diagnosis.
Riley had a traumatic brain injury (TBI) and had sustained a severe concussion that previous evaluations had overlooked.
Riley's capacity to concentrate, prioritize, focus, and retain information has been impacted by TBI.
Riley was able to get a plan to help her improve her memory when post-concussion specialists Cognitive FX finally diagnosed her.
Riley began creating new memories after just one week of treatment, but she is still unable to remember anything that occurred between June 11, 2019, and December 2019.
Riley had excelled academically and aspired to become a doctor. She was a straight-A student in high school prior to the accident. But when Riley began to lose her memories and was barely able to retain anything from her classes, there didn't seem to be any hope left.
Riley's mother Sarah expressed concern in 2019: "If she goes to college, she's not going to know where her classes are. She's not going to know where her dorm room is."
However, there have been some very encouraging developments since then.
Riley's cognitive function improved enough during her treatment at Cognitive FX to help her pass nursing school.
Her mother disclosed the following information in a recent update: "She's had some really difficult semesters, but she made it."
"I was actually driving to her WHITE COAT ceremony when I wrote this! After completing her nursing coursework, she is now working in a clinical setting."
Riley and her family are attempting to concentrate on the small victories, such as Riley finishing her first semester with a 4.0, even though Riley will likely never be her former self again and is still on medication for her seizures.
The most recent update on the 'Help Riley Remember' Facebook page stated, "It's hard to see her sometimes have to work so much harder than others." Riley's mother wrote this.
"Riley still experiences occasional memory loss; it's not as frequent as every two hours, but it still happens.
Sadly, there is no pattern or logic to what sticks and what doesn't. This greatly annoys her. It's challenging in everyday interactions and extremely challenging in nursing school."
Riley's parents are still concerned about her seizures, but thanks to the support of her college friends who are all majoring in nursing, Riley's condition has somewhat improved.
"We hear all the time how good she looks, how good she’s doing, and how she looks like she’s thriving," Sarah said.
"That’s because TBIs are an invisible disease. You can’t see her struggles most of the time, but I do."
While Riley's family is still in the process of finding a treatment that will work for Riley, Sarah claims that the expense has been "worth every penny" if it means that her daughter will be able to regain her life.