THE FAMILY THAT BOB FORGOT; the Ordeal of Bob Dalton Who Has No Short-Term Memory and Had No Idea He Was Married with Kids. by Steve Tooze

Article excerpt

Byline: Steve Tooze

Imagine having lunch twice because you have no memory of eating it the first time just five minutes ago. Think what it must be like to walk out into the familiar streets near your home and immediately become lost and terrified because you have absolutely no idea where you are.

Welcome to the strange and frightening world of Bob Dalton, a man who has no short-term memory, whose story is told in a Channel 5 documentary this week. "I live my life in a kind of fog," says Bob, 44, from West Norwood, South London. "The slightest everyday problem can be pretty distressing because I have no memory of how to deal with it."

Twenty years ago, Bob was a young computer systems analyst, who'd been married for 12 months to wife Barbara. Then he was hit by a devastating brain haemorrhage that changed his life for ever.

"I came round in hospital having forgotten that I was married to Barbara," he says. "I could remember my childhood and teenage years. But I kept repeating myself because I was incapable of remembering what I'd done five minutes before.

"Later, I tried going back to work but it was impossible to cope. I had to accept that I'd lost my short-term memory forever and that a whole part of my life was gone for good. …