May 19, 2023 | 8:14 PM
Gianna Cabo’s symptoms, initially dismissed as a long-lasting COVID-19 infection, became so debilitating that she couldn’t even remember her own childhood.
When Gianna Cabo experienced amnesia and began to withdraw from family and friends, her mother thought it was Covid-19 for a long time — not dementia, of course.
“I felt like someone had hit me in the heart. I was sitting there stunned,” said Rebecca Robertson, 50, Cabo’s mother. told SWNS. “I didn’t think that was true. She’s only 19. She never dreamed she had dementia.”
Robertson, who lives in McKinney, Texas, realized something was wrong in September 2020 when her bright and energetic daughter started to fall behind in class from the top of her class.
Cabo has had a tough year. In 2019, she and her mother were involved in a car accident that left Ms. Robertson with a severe concussion and a compressed disc in her neck.
Then in June 2020, Cabo contracted coronavirus.
A few months later, she suffered from amnesia and her ability to perform simple tasks such as operating a can opener.
When Cabo began to withdraw from his friends, stop doing his homework and fall asleep as soon as he got home, Robertson decided to seek medical help.
“As the weeks went on, she started having more and more problems at school. To every question she would say ‘I don’t remember,'” recalls a distraught Robertson. “If you ask her why she didn’t do her homework, she’ll say she doesn’t remember.”
The mother was prescribed antidepressants in June 2021, thinking she may be suffering from mental stress due to the pandemic.
Cabo began seeing a counselor, but her condition continued to worsen.
“All of a sudden, her teachers started calling me and saying, ‘She’s one of our star students.'” [but] Now she’s in La La Land during class and just staring blankly out the window,” Robertson recalled. “She became more and more isolated and apathetic. She said, ‘She’s just lost.’ “
Robertson said the severity of Cabo’s amnesia appeared when he graduated from high school. Other students were excitedly discussing their futures, but her daughter struggled to keep up.
“Her eyes were filled with tears,” she said sadly. “She said to me, ‘Shouldn’t I be excited?’ But she felt nothing.”
Robertson took the boy to see a neurologist in November 2022, and after a series of medical tests, doctors found no electrical activity in Cabo’s right middle lobe. .
She was diagnosed with dementia.
Robertson said Cabo, now 20, can’t recall happy childhood memories.
“When I asked her what was the happiest moment of her life, she just looked confused and said, ‘I don’t remember,'” she recalled.
At one point, when Cabo’s condition took a turn for the worse, she deleted all her childhood photos in her room. When her mother asked her why, she explained, “She didn’t remember being taken.”
Robertson admits that she feels like her daughter is “out there,” but no one knows what to do.
“I just hope there is a cure that gives me hope,” said the distressed mother. “She doesn’t smile anymore. She can’t get out of bed. No matter what you ask her, day or night, she just says ‘I don’t remember.'” “
“The saddest thing is that Gianna doesn’t care about it,” she continued. “There’s no emotion there. None. She’s 100% indifferent.”
according to Pediatric Dementia InitiativeChildhood dementia results from progressive brain damage and is believed to be associated with over 70 rare genetic disorders.
There is no cure, but treatments include medications, therapy, and nutritional services.