Dementia at 37 – ‘mother fears not recognising her daughter’

The agony of a mum with early-onset dementia living with the fear of not being able to recognise her daughter.

Kelly Watson, 41, started to show signs of the illness at 37.

But just as in the Oscar-winning film Still Alice, doctors discounted dementia because she was so young.

Until 2011 Kelly was a hard-working civil servant living with a partner and Holly, now 17. But she began to have mood swings, slur her speech and forget simple words.

Her relationship broke down and in February 2014 she had to leave her job. She could not write and kept losing things such as her purse and keys.

Confused and unable to ­afford her house, she and Holly moved in with her mother, Moira, 62, in nearby Gateshead.

Kelly said: “My mum started helping me dress as I struggled. She even had to wash my hair and shave my legs for me.” After brain scans and ­cognitive tests the bad news came in a letter listing the results.

The single mum could not talk on the phone or use public transport and lost her job as a civil servant.

Dementia sufferer Kelly and her daughter HollyDementia sufferer Kelly and her daughter Holly (www.espress.co.uk)

She attends memory exercise classes with a dementia group.

Kelly said:  “I’m terrified of forgetting my daughter and not being there to see her grow up.

“I try not to think about the future because it gets me stressed and upset.

“All I can do is hope for the best.

Perrie. R 2015 The Sun April 6th 2015 P. 19

“Kelly – I think everyone will hope you have lots of time seeing your daughter grow and mature.”

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