A Mom Lost Her Memory & Forgot Her Daughter But Says Her Maternal Instincts Never Left Her

She panics when she remembers her.

Mom with memory loss and her daughter TikTok

Every parent has an innate desire to make sure their children are safe at all times. We worry about where they are going, who they are with, and what outside influences might come their way. Finding out your child may be in danger is a terror only a parent can relate to.

For a woman named Nesh Pillay, that extreme anxiety is something she has to deal with much more than anyone else could ever imagine. Pillay, 32, was confused and scared when she recently woke up from a nap unable to remember anything.


Pillay told Newsweek in October 2022 that she told family members she had bumped her head before deciding to take a nap. Though Pillay cannot remember the incident, it is what preceded the deterioration of her memory.

She has suffered numerous incidents of trauma to her brain over her lifetime, the first occurring during a car accident as just nine years old. Since then, according to Pillay, she has had multiple head injuries resulting in concussions.

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Pillay found herself unable to remember her boyfriend of 18 months or her 6-year-old daughter.

She had the recurring thought that her boyfriend was an Uber driver or hired help.


Doctors have been unable to figure out exactly what caused the memory lapse, but initially thought she would be fine in a few days. She looked for a second opinion when the condition worsened, only to be told it was a psychiatric issue.

That led to a 3-day stint in the hospital where multiple doctors confirmed the problem might be neurological. Pillay’s memory loss has been compared to Drew Barrymore’s 50 First Dates character who forgot everything while she slept and started anew each day.

Since that time, she has shared her memory-recovery journey on TikTok, posting clips of her partner, Jakope, 33, helping to nurse her back to health. Her transparent videos have gained over 3 million views.

Pillay's recent video left viewers heartbroken about the stress and anxiety she feels on a regular basis.

In the post, the concerned mother explains that although she forgets her daughter every time she awakens, her motherly instinct is always with her. Pillay told viewers that her memory resets once a minute, causing her to panic about the safety of her child.


The recorded footage shows a wide-eyed Pillay asking repeatedly, “Is the child okay” and confirming that the child actually belongs to her. She claims that the incessant worry often keeps her up at night.

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She asks to Facetime the little girl before being told that she had to wait until the following day as her daughter is sleeping. Still skeptical, she asks people around her why she is so scared, and they explain Pillay’s condition.


That question-and-answer cycle repeats itself over and over with her struggling to understand her overwhelming worries about her daughter.

In closing, Pillay told everyone watching that the fact she is still able to be concerned about her daughter despite forgetting her tells her that even if her memory totally disappears, the little girl will always be in her heart.

A woman named Reina could relate and commented, “I work hospice. Even with Alzheimer’s I’ve seen moms who don’t remember anything/anyone but they see their adult children and go 'that’s my person.'”

Others shared their own stories of memory loss involving family members as well as the associated pain and despair. Many commended Pillay on her unconditional love and the unbreakable bond with her daughter.


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Still, people wanted to understand exactly why she was so scared that her child was in danger.

In a follow-up post, the hesitant mother shared that she had initially become scared when her memory first failed her, believing that her child had passed away.

Because of that, Pillay explained that every time her memory resets, she is confronted with the same belief that her daughter had died. This caused her a lot of angst and created a desperate need for reassurance that her daughter was okay.



She also clarified that the reason she continued to ask when she had gotten answers was that she thought people were trying to hide her daughter’s death from her by claiming the girl was sleeping. Pillay believed they were protecting her from grief.


The forgetful mom also shared that when she slept, she would see images of her daughter lying on a sidewalk covered in blood and couldn’t differentiate the dream from reality so woke up in a severe panic.

Over time, she has realized that she might be conflating her experience as a nine-year-old where she was bloodied and placed on a sidewalk after an accident with the experiences of her child.

The harrowing experience has caused Pillay to empathize with parents who truly have lost a child. But the fact that she was able to make sense of her fears gives Pillay hope that she will one day be the person she was before losing her memory.


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NyRee Ausler is a writer from Seattle, Washington, and author of seven books. She covers lifestyle and entertainment and news, as well as navigating the workplace and social issues.