Chloe, 29, says fiancé James, 39,  'deals with it really well but it does worry him. I couldn't imagine having to look after someone going through it.'
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Barmaid, 29, with severe amnesia regularly wakes up believing she is SIX years old again… and her doting fiancé is actually her sinister KIDNAPPER

  • Chloe, 29, said she thought her fiancé was a paedophile who kidnapped her 
  • The Leicestershire barmaid threatened partner James, 39, with a spanner 
  • The memory loss happens every few months and they could strike at any time 
  • Chloe added the episodes vary and that ‘I can go back to being any age’ 

A barmaid with severe amnesia says she often wakes up thinking she is just six years old… and that her loving partner is her sinister captor. 

Chloe Barnard, 29, loses years of memories overnight and sometimes even accuses her loving partner of nine years of being a paedophile.

It may sound like the plot of chilling thriller Before I Go To Sleep starring Colin Firth and Nicole Kidman, or Christopher Nolan’s 2000 film Memento, but this is the reality that Chloe has to deal with every day, as the amnesia could strike at any time.

Chloe’s memories usually come back within 24 hours but James, 39, has to try and calm her down when she forgets who he is.

On some occasions Chloe, from Leicestershire, has even threatened James with a spanner and told strangers to call the police to help her.  

Chloe, 29, says fiancé James, 39,  'deals with it really well but it does worry him. I couldn't imagine having to look after someone going through it.'

Chloe, 29, says fiancé James, 39,  ‘deals with it really well but it does worry him. I couldn’t imagine having to look after someone going through it.’

Chloe suffered a stroke when she was 19, which medics believe to be the cause of her memory loss, which she experiences every few months

Chloe suffered a stroke when she was 19, which medics believe to be the cause of her memory loss, which she experiences every few months 

The real life Before I Go To Sleep? 

  • Chloe’s condition has eerie similarities with 2014 psychological thriller Before I Go To Sleep 
  • The film stars Nicole Kidman as a woman who loses her memory every time she sleeps after she was injured in an attack
  • Colin Firth plays her increasingly-sinister husband as she starts to piece her memory back together 
  • Such conditions in real life are extremely rare but Chloe has to cope with the realities of her memory loss every few months  

Chloe has a rare brain condition believe to have been triggered by a stroke.

She said the episodes of memory loss were random and could take her back to different periods in her life.

Chloe said: ‘I can go back to being any age. I’ve been back to being six years old. That was horrifying.

‘One night, me and James had a barny that wasn’t massive but I’d gone to bed because I was mardy with him and something woke me up.

‘I went downstairs and there was a stairgate, I didn’t recognise the house but I thought ‘it must be mine because there’s a staircase and I’m only six.

‘My partner was on the sofa with the dog, which I didn’t know was mine. I sat on the stairs and said ‘who are you and who is the dog? I want my mummy and my daddy.’

‘He knew what to do and not to panic. He got me back upstairs and he got into bed completely naked and told me to get into bed. I told him I wasn’t getting into bed with a paedo and that I want my mummy and daddy. I was stood there with my nan’s teddy bear.

Chloe (pictured as a child) says she has thought she was years younger and forgotten everything that has happened since when she is hit by bouts of amnesia

Chloe (pictured as a child) says she has thought she was years younger and forgotten everything that has happened since when she is hit by bouts of amnesia 

What is amnesia?

Amnesia is an umbrella term for when a person can no longer recall information stored as memory, or create new memories going forward.

In the majority of cases, it is caused by brain damage, disease, or psychological trauma.

The phenomena is difficult to prove, as brain scans reveal no structural changes in many types of amnesia, such as transient global amnesia (TGA).

This type of amnesia involves the sudden, temporary loss of memory, alongside repeated questioning, with no neurological cause.

It most commonly occurs in middle-aged and elderly adults.

Although unclear, TGA is thought to be caused by blood flow obstruction in structures of the brain that are critical for memory, leading to a reduction in oxygen supply, and subsequent reduced activity, in those brain regions.

TGA more commonly occurs in people who suffer from migraines or epilepsy.

Known triggers of the condition include sex, stress, pain, and exposure to hot and cold temperatures.

In most cases, amnesia resolves itself without treatment.

‘I tried to phone the police but he took my phone. I didn’t want him to touch me. I picked up a spanner so I knew I could hurt him if I needed to.

‘He asked what I was going to do with it and I said if he came near me, I’d hit him with it and that I wanted my mummy and daddy.

‘He calmed me down and said ‘I know your mummy and daddy’. We called them and they explained it and when I woke up the next morning, I was totally fine.’

Chloe also said she once thought she was 16 years old when she thought James was kidnapping her and had to be convinced by her mother that everything was ok. She said when she fell asleep afterwards, she thought she was 19 until the amnesia wore off and she remembered who she was. 

She added she experiences the episodes every few months, often triggered by stress or lack of sleep. Medics suspect they are linked to a stroke she had when she was 19.

Chloe says she realises that sleep is an important factor in avoiding the episodes, but that one could happen at any second.

She said: ‘The consultant told me that it only normally happens twice in a person’s lifetime but it happens every couple of months [for me].

‘The more sleep I get the more it brings me around and they say stress is a factor. They aren’t sure if there’s a connection with my stroke but, if so, it took six years for it to start happening.

‘I just have to deal with it but it shatters you out, it can take a whole week to recover.

‘James deals with it really well but it does worry him. I couldn’t imagine having to look after someone going through it.’

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