Husband writes book for wife who lost her memory due to complications during childbirth
A Michigan man whose wife lost her memory during childbirth is warming hearts after publishing a book that chronicles the couple's love story.
Steve Curto, 38, wrote and self-published "But I Know I Love You" so his wife, Camre Curto, could remember major events like their first date, their wedding and their son's birth — all moments she lost completely due to a stroke she suffered seven years ago.
"Everything in the book is a memory of what we've gone through and what I've missed," Camre, 31, told Good Morning America. "I enjoy [reading] it very much, but right now with everything it’s kind of mixed feelings."
According to the book's Amazon description, it tells the "true-life account of one man's determination to create a family with the woman he loves even though she doesn’t have a clue who he is."
It's a story that spawned from one frightening night, as Camre was giving birth to the couple's 7-year-old son, Gavin.
Camre was rushed to the emergency room 33 weeks into her pregnancy after she started having trouble breathing. Once she got to the hospital, she suffered a grand mal seizure, which led to doctors performing an emergency C-section.
The C-section was successful, but doctors were ultimately forced to put Camre in a chemically induced coma, realizing she'd also suffered a seizure that affected both sides of her brain. Steve told Good Morning America that doctors weren't sure how bad the new mother's memory loss might be — until she woke up.
"When they brought her out of the coma, and she started to wake up, something wasn’t right," he said. "She had no idea who she was or that she had just given birth. She didn’t know who I was or who her parents were."
Camre had lost both her short and long-term memory. Steve said his wife couldn't remember anything about him, their relationship or the house they lived in.
After she left the hospital, Camre stayed with her parents while Steve took care of Gavin in their home. He admitted it was a difficult time, but also told Good Morning America that one conversation during that time period changed his entire outlook.
"We were sitting on the couch and [Camre] told me, ‘I don’t who you are but I know I love you,'" Steve said, noting that he used those last five words to title his book. "That has always stuck with me. That has been the driving force behind everything."
Camre started working with an occupational therapist, Jessica Smith, who helped her re-learn basic daily tasks like getting dressed, cooking and changing her son's diapers. Those simple steps built up over time, and she's regained a lot of who she used to be, Smith said.
"When I first met her she was there, but not really there. She was a shell," the therapist told Good Morning America. "Now she's got her personality back and she's able to be a mom to Gavin, which is the best thing to see."
The 31-year-old has also gotten a better understanding of her memory, using mental tricks and a joint calendar she keeps with Steve in order to stay on top of things. She also remembers her husband and son, who Steve said she has a "fantastic" relationship with.
Camre credited her recovery largely to Steve and Gavin, noting their incredible support throughout her recovery.
"With my husband and son with me, that is what is getting me through all this," she said. "Every time I see Gave and Steve, there’s a huge smile on my face and inside me. The love of family is what means the most and what is getting me through every day."
Steve's book, "But I Know I Love You" is available in paperback on Amazon. You can purchase the book here.