What if you woke up and had no idea who your spouse was, where you lived, or really any details about yourself? That’s the story of one Arizona man. You won’t believe this incredible story of love, faith and devotion. Meet Adam and Raquel.
13. In Bed in a Strange House
Adam Gonzalez had everything going for him and life seemed to be pretty normal for the most part. However, early in the morning in September of 2016, Adam awoke in terror. He was in a strange house, with a woman he didn’t know. He had forgotten what year it was. And a five-year marriage. And three children. And a job he loved. How had he forgotten so much?
12. A Waking Nightmare
For Adam Gonzales and his wife, Raquel, Adam’s situation was a waking nightmare. When Raquel walked into the living room on that fateful day, he didn’t recognize her or even know her name. The more questions she asked him, the less he knew. When she told her husband that they were married and had three children, Adam started to cry. He didn’t know anyone in the house. Raquel knew she had to get him to the hospital.
11. The Wrong Identity
Raquel brought him his telephone and identification, so that he could verify his identity. Adam’s confusion deepened. “Where are my suits,” he asked, opening the cupboard. Raquel calmly explained that Adam was a personal trainer and didn’t wear suits to work. Adam was completely confused, so he went with Raquel to the hospital.
10. Memory Loss
Although Adam was panicked and suspicious, Raquel was calm. She knew that this was not Adam’s first experience with total memory loss. It all started in 2011, when Adam worked for AT&T in Lubbock, Texas. The then-35 year old man was reeling from a divorce with his first wife, with whom he had two children. Adam tried dating again, but it went horribly wrong. His new girlfriend him on the back of the head with a heavy blunt object, and and then she hung him from the rafters after he was injured.
9. Rushed to the Hospital
Adam was rushed to the hospital, and his heart stopped three times. Although he was resuscitated by paramedics each time, he wound up in a coma for four months. When Adam finally woke up, he didn’t know who he was, nor did he remember his first wife and their two children.
Adam spent a year in the hospital, where he had to re-learn how to walk, talk, and do basic tasks. Unfortunately he did not recover the memories of his first marriage or his kids. It took several months before doctors let Adam reunite with his children. Sadly, he had no idea who they were. “How could a father, a dad, forget his biological children?” he said. When he returned to his home, the surroundings were unfamiliar to him. Photographs depicted events he had no memory of. Unable to return to his old job, and anxious about living up to his past, Adam moved to Arizona to start fresh.
7. A New Life
In Phoenix, Adam became a cable installer. Eventually he started to date Raquel, a 30-year-old marketing manager with a daughter. The two met online. When they met, they had an instant connection. “I couldn’t keep my eyes off her – she had these beautiful dimples and she had this really sweet smile.” As for Raquel she liked him back: “He wasn’t trying but somehow he looked so cool, he was so handsome.” They dated for a few months and then decided to move in together, with their kids. They eventually married in 2015.
6. 50 First Dates
All of that was wiped away suddenly in that morning in September. Adam called his mother from the hospital, anxious about who Raquel really was. His mother assured him that Raquel was his wife and he loved her. Adam started to lean on Raquel a little more. He didn’t know her, but he was intrigued by her personality and her obvious care for him. “There was some excitement about it and there was a little bit of mystery about who this really nice woman is, and was.”The couple then embarked on a series of dates that seem straight out of a Hollywood movie such as 50 First Dates. They met in the hospital cafeteria for grilled cheese and soup. They met by the vending machines and flirted.
5. Showing Adam Their Life
Raquel also showed him pictures of the two together, and posts they had made on Facebook. Adam had no memory of any of it. When he asked about their marriage certificate, she pulled it out of her purse. They shared a laugh – Raquel was still in the process of changing her last name to his. However, there were plenty of dark clouds to go along with those silver linings. Adam struggled to connect, at one point announcing that they should break up. Devastatingly, Adam even told her: “I am not attracted to you, and you do not turn me on at all.”
Raquel was horrified, but she prayed to God for guidance. As she notes, “It’s hard to love someone when they have no idea who you are and they cannot love you.” She refused to give up. She learned to cook – previously he had been the cook in the family – and devoted herself to taking care of Adam and their children. Slowly, Adam realized that she was a great wife and mother. Glimpses of his old personality returned, like when he turned to her in the hospital and said ”If you’re my wife, I think we can kiss. This is still the husband I married – he is always trying to get a free kiss. Adam’s always been a flirt and continues to be a flirt.”
3. Adam and His Kids
Their children, Abby (age 12), Lulu (age 15), and Elijah (age 17), also pitched in to help their dad, watching out for each other and trying to spur his memory by showing Adam gym exercises he had taught them. Adam realized he must have spent serious time with them in the gym. Finally, one day in December of 2016, Adam woke up sounding like his old self. He apologized to Raquel for something he had done three years before, when they were dating. Raquel eyed him closely – she asked if he knew her name. “How could I ever forget you?” Adam said. “You are my Raquel.” “Oh honey, there is so much I have to tell you about,” Raquel said.
2. Some Things Still a Mystery
When Adam got up to take his daughters to school, he expected to see them much younger. But they no longer went to the school he remembered. They navigated him in the right direction. Adam asked Lulu to put their house in the GPS as “Home” so he didn’t lose track of where he belonged. Read on to see how Adam is doing now two years later.
1. Two Years Later
Now, two years later, Adam continues to recover memories, seemingly at random. Although doctors gave him a battery of tests, they still did not identify the reason behind his 2016 amnesia attack. Important memories still elude Adam, like his wedding day. Raquel and Adam renewed their vows and make new memories. Adam became a pastor and works in church to help others have faith in God. “I really learned how to truly surrender to God and have faith and believe that you can overcome the hardest of struggles.”