Jeremy Stamper remembers his wedding day as the best day in his life.
The August ceremony was rustic and quaint, unfolding in front of 75 family and friends overlooking a lake at Hungry Mother State Park in Marion, Va.
“It was hectic at first, but once it actually started getting underway I was so lost in my love with my wife that I didn’t pay attention to anything else,” the 21-year-old, who met his wife 11 years earlier in Sunday school, told The Washington Post. “It was perfect, just perfect.”
Almost a year later, only one thing could make that memory any better: sharing it with his wife, who no longer remembers saying “I do.”
Only 19 days after the couple’s wedding, Justice Stamper was rear-ended in a traffic accident that sent her Ford Focus screeching across a Marion roadway before smashing into an embankment.
The violent collision slammed the 20-year-old’s head into her car’s steering wheel, causing her brain to bounce back and forth inside her skull. She was left with a traumatic brain injury known as a coup-contrecoup. Due to damage she sustained on the left side of her brain, several months of short term memories were wiped away, including her wedding, she told The Post.
The next month of slow recovery felt like a dream, Justice Stamper said. Dazed from medication, suffering from headaches and sleeplessness, Stamper — who was living with her husband’s family at the time — found herself living in a home she didn’t recognize, looking at wedding photos on the wall she couldn’t place. What was once familiar felt strangely foreign and she began to…