When a loved one suffers from Alzheimer’s disease, it can be devastating for everyone involved. Especially when that loved one doesn’t recognize their closest family members and friends.
Back in 2014, YouTube user Kelly Gunderson posted a video in which her 87-year-old mother Daphne Tresher, who was living with Alzheimer’s, recognized her for what appears to be the first time in a long time. Check out the touching exchange in the video below:
After mother and daughter tell each other, “I love you,” Gunderson asks her mom, “But do you know who I am though?” Her mother replies, “Kelly.”
Gunderson seems astonished, and confirms that she is, in fact, Kelly.
“Well, I love Kelly. And didn’t I name you Kelly?” Tresher asks.
In the comments, Gunderson reveals that the moment was even more special for her because she has an identical twin sister. “I had been taping her, just asking her questions or singing, ‘Jesus Loves Me,’” Gunderson told TODAY.com. “That morning, I was just lying in bed with her, and we were just talking, and I decided to do a selfie video.”
The video, titled “God’s Gift,” went viral and has been viewed more than 9 million times. The video was recently made popular again after being posted to the Every Mom Facebook page.
“In the early stages, [people with Alzheimer’s] repeat themselves, over and over again, and they’ve got that short-term memory where they don’t remember your conversation that you just had,” Gunderson explained. “It’s a little aggravating because you don’t realize [they have the disease]. Then when you realize it, and in the late stage, that’s the new normal, and you just deal with it. Love them anyway, and love them through it.”
If you’d like to see more of Gunderson and her mother, she continues to document their lives on her YouTube channel.
If you have a loved one who is struggling with Alzheimer’s and you need support, please visit the Alzheimer’s Association’s website or call their 24-hour help line at 1.800.272.3900.