Veronika Mescheryakova is a young Russian woman who faces a Groundhog Day of grief every time she wakes up. But unlike the famous comedy film, there is nothing funny about her predicament. Thanks to being robbed of her short-term memory, Veronika is forced to relearn something awful every day. Heartbreakingly, she is unable to hold on to the fact that her marriage is over. Every 24 hours, Veronika greets the morning thinking that she is still happily married and her husbands at work, only to be utterly devastated when she hears the sad truth.
Veronika is a 29-year-old who lives in Kazan, the capital city of Tatarstan. This semi-autonomous Russian republic straddles Europe and Asia, and it was here that Veronika married her husband, Maxim. The beautiful young woman was pictured on her wedding day, wearing a sensational strapless dress, a shimmering necklace and her hair tied up.
But, sadly, the happy days would not last long. After the couple tied the knot, Veronika fell victim to a life-changing disease. She was diagnosed with an acute form of the blood disease porphyria. This merciless medical condition sees the sufferer gradually deteriorate, experiencing several frightening physical and mental symptoms – including memory loss.
Those poor people affected by this degenerative disorder have their ability to control levels of porphyrins compromised. These chemical compounds are essential to the proper functioning of red blood cells, but too many porphyrins is not good. High levels have serious implications all over a porphyria sufferer’s body, depending on where they collect.
And the repercussions of porphyria are simply awful. Symptoms include chronic pain, breathing difficulties, paralysis, vomiting, hallucinations, seizures, memory loss and much more. When Veronika was diagnosed with the disease, she learned what to expect. That is why she took action…
In the hope of alleviating her amnesia symptoms, Veronika elected to have an operation. Unfortunately, however, the procedure did not go to plan, and her memory just got worse. Then the life-changing disease began to affect her limbs. Porphyria deprived Veronika of the ability to walk as she became paralyzed below the waist. And there was more bad news to come…
Indeed, the calamity caused by the degenerative disease in Veronika’s life did not stop there. It was slowly diminishing the quality of her marriage. Finally, in November 2017, Maxim decided to end their union and filed for divorce. He has never given a reason for this decision publicly.
Still, Veronika’s condition spiraled further downwards thanks to her unforgiving disease. Her short-term memory loss became so serious that she actually forgot that her husband had left her. So, appallingly, while the public are not aware of Maxim’s reasons for quitting the marital home, neither is poor Veronika.
In fact, nowadays Veronika lives with her mother. Every morning, the estranged wife wakes up blissfully unaware of her separation. Throughout most days, she assumes that Maxim is simply out at work. But then in the evening, when he still hasn’t returned home, a worried Veronika receives the heart-rending news anew.
It is down to Veronkia’s mom to break this fact to her on a daily basis. So as well as being there for her daughter in so many other ways, she has the regular burden of being the bearer of bad news. Indeed, it can only be imagined how hard it must be each day for both of them.
Distressingly, a heartbroken Veronika breaks down and cries every time she hears about the fate of her marriage. The young woman has lost so much – the ability to walk, her beloved husband and, of course, her memory. Veronika’s emotional reaction always reflects the tragedy of her pitiable personal circumstances.
A Russian news report captured one of the moments the abandoned woman found out afresh that her husband had walked out. She may have actually heard it on countless occasions before, but to Veronika it was like the first time. The viewing Russian public commented on the local story when it was posted online and shared their compassion.
One sympathetic commenter simply said, “I feel so sorry for her that I want to cry.” Meanwhile another online user had some practical advice aimed at Veronika’s mother and any other of her helpers. They wrote, “Maybe they should tell her that she was the one who left him.”
Nevertheless, in the hope of moving things forward, Veronika’s mom is taking some action. She is painstakingly teaching her daughter how to take control of her limbs again, in an attempt to get Veronika walking. Her mother also hopes that Maxim will do some walking too – back through the door so the couple can rekindle their romance.
Not surprisingly, Veronika’s story soon went viral worldwide after it surfaced in Russia. Many people commented on the overall sadness of the situation. Meanwhile others shared the opinion that Veronika should be fed a different, kinder story about her husband, rather than the harsh truth.
One internet user from Paris said, “So sad what has happened to her, she is a very beautiful woman. Would just say he is out at work or, as others have said, away on business, so much kinder.” Another commenter from the U.K. reiterated this, writing, “It’s cruel to keep reminding her and perpetuating her distress. Just say he’s away on business – she won’t remember being told that before anyway.”
Nonetheless, it was down to another sufferer struck down by porphyria, to remind people to also spare a thought for Maxim. The individual from the States also addressed anyone with a similar affliction to Veronika. They said, “If you’ve got a good spouse, treasure that situation. As a patient, realize how difficult being married to someone with a chronic disease can be, so be kind in return.”
Most of the online community were thoroughly shocked at Veronika’s memory loss and some compared her story to another well-known film. One such internet user wrote, “There was actually a movie called 50 First Dates with Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore a few years ago where everyday she would wake up with no memory.”
The comment underneath a version of the story on U.K. tabloid the Daily Mail’s website continued, “I never in a million years thought that it could really happen.” The statement got 22 likes so it seems like there were others in the dark about this terrible condition. So at least Veronika’s story is shedding some light on the dread porphyria.
Tragically, left untreated, acute porphyria can rob someone of a lot more than just their memory. It can lead to brain damage and even death. Still, although she is being treated, poor Veronika is far from lucky. It can only be hoped that her quality of life will soon improve, and that maybe her mother’s wish will come true and Maxim will return.