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Source: facebook.com/abigail.sartin | facebook.com/jeff.hartung.904

Woman Wakes up after Coma Asking for Husband, Doesn't Remember She Buried Him 15 Years Before

Ayesha Muhammad
Jan 31, 2022
07:40 P.M.
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After a horrific accident leading to a traumatic brain injury, a woman forgot 15 years of her life. She couldn't recall that her kids were grown up, and the kind-faced man she had mistaken for a doctor was indeed her husband. 

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Have you ever gone through an instance where you couldn't recall a particular moment in your life? Often, the "forgetful type" tend to have gaps in their memory, making them feel baffled and irritated. 

But imagine waking up after a horrendous incident with absolutely no recollection of your past life. It sounds heart-wrenching, and that's exactly what happened to a woman nearly nine years ago. 

A candid picture of Jeff and Angela Hartung [Left]. Jeff and Angela pictured on the day they renewed their wedding vows [Right]. | Photo: facebook.com/abigail.sartin | facebook.com/jeff.hartung.904

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A LIFE-ALTERING TRAGEDY

Jeff and Angela Hartung were happily married until a tragic accident turned their lives topsy-turvy. When she woke up in a hospital room with beeping machine sounds, Angela couldn't fathom what had happened.

She was in excruciating pain, and nothing made sense. As time went by, her cluelessness intensified. The entire time, Angela told herself she was 36 years old, married to her husband, John, and a mother to two children.

In reality, she was 51, and her daughter Abigail and son Phillip were grown up. Angela told CBC News: "I do not remember anything at all. I asked for my two children. I thought they were like 2 and 8 years old. They were 17 and 23 years old." 

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LOSING HER MEMORY

The truth shook her to the core. Throughout her time in the hospital, she saw a kind-faced man she thought was a doctor. Surprisingly, the man wasn't a medical staff member but her second husband, Jeff. 

On June 16, 2018, the couple renewed their vows in Central Park, New York, surrounded by family and friends. 

The more she tried to recall her past, the more it hurt. Angela soon realized she had completely forgotten the past 15 years of her life. After suffering a horrendous accident on October 25, 2013, in New York, Angela had landed in the hospital.

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LEARNING THE TRUTH

She was crossing the road alone when a car hit her, and she was put in a medically-induced coma for a month. The doctors told her family she had suffered a severe brain injury, and there were slim chances of her waking up. 

They even prepared her husband for if she didn't survive. Jeff discovered that in most brain injury cases, marriages could end. Fortunately, Angela gained consciousness but had no recollection of her second husband and their life together.

Despite the odds stacked against him, Jeff refused to leave Angela's side. His comforting presence eased her physical and emotional trauma. Angela also learned that her first husband, who she fell in love with at university and married in 1985, died in 1998.

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Angela and Jeff Hartung surrounded by their children on their wedding day. | Photo: YouTube.com/CBS Sunday Morning

REVISITING THE PAST

She was heartbroken and had no memory of burying her first husband. Her wounds were still fresh when she discovered that her father died in 2010, and she had helped arrange his funeral. Angela couldn't come to terms with everything she had lived and forgotten.

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Then there was her second husband and her grown-up kids. For Jeff, it wasn't easy to go from spouse to stranger, but he decided to handle things patiently. When he took her to their house in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Jeff decided to tell Angela about their love story.

The couple met in a church in 2000 and were single parents to two young kids. Jeff proposed Angela in an atrium adorned with flowers and trees, and the couple wed in 2001, surrounded by their four children.

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FALLING IN LOVE AGAIN

Angela remembered nothing but appreciated her husband's efforts wholeheartedly. Jeff also covered their house with pictures of their family and started courting her again. Months turned into years, and Angela fell for her husband all over again. 

On June 16, 2018, the couple renewed their vows in Central Park, New York, surrounded by family and friends. Angela expressed: “Saying my vows to this man who made me feel safe and cherished, who had never wavered, was the easiest thing in the world.”

Instead of remembering her children's first day of school or their family vacations, Angela focused on creating new memories. She realized she was blessed to have an incredible family, and saying "I do" again was a sweet reminder of that. 

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A SECOND CHANCE AT LOVE

Jeff shared he was glad to re-live the happy moments with his wife and reassure her of his love. He also revealed: “Through it all, I was given the opportunity to step up and grow. Without a doubt, it’s made me a better man."

What an extraordinary story of a couple's second chance at love! If it inspired you, please share it with your loved ones. 

Here's another story that follows a similar theme, and it's about a 56-year-old man with Alzheimer's who forgot about his marriage. But like Angela, his heart was in the right place, and he decided to listen to it. You can read the full story here.

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