A husband whose beautiful banker wife ended up unable to remember anything for more than a day after a hospital visit is fighting for a happy ending just like in the Drew Barrymore film “50 First Dates”.
Blonde Maria Polischuk met her husband Gennady at the bank where they both worked and fell in love and married.
Both of them had a failed marriage behind them, and Maria already had a son from her previous relationship, but they found happiness with each other and quickly had a second son, named Plato.
When they learned that she was pregnant with her third child, the hoped-for daughter, and when this was confirmed, they were overjoyed.
Gennady said that at the New Year as they toasted each other this desire for a daughter had been their secret wish, and their happiness was complete when they realised it had come true.
But neither of them realised that the blessing would turn out so badly when she was checked in for a cesarean operation in 2021, and Gennady stayed home to look after the children.
Speaking to Russian media he said: “The last I spoke to my wife she said everything was okay, but when I didn’t hear from her for a while, I started to get worried and I went to the hospital where staff were uncommunicative when I enquired about her.”
Eventually, a nurse told him that after she had been given an epidural injection to deal with the pain, she suddenly started screaming: “It’s burning, it’s burning.”
Her body had convulsed, bent back in pain, and her temperature shot up to 42 degrees Celsius forcing doctors to cover her body in ice and give her a sedative.
She was rushed into intensive care after the operation where she remained for a month, and when she came out was unable to talk or walk.
The only good news at that time was the fact that their daughter, Polina, was saved and unharmed.
In the tragedy that followed, her kidneys failed, and her blood pressure rose dramatically with eclampsia seizures, and experts believe this damaged her brain.
As a result, when she was finally able to walk around and communicate they realised she had no memory of anything that happened the day before and also could not remember much of her past life.
In fact the horror of her husband, she could not remember him, and could only remember the name of her former boyfriend Vasya who she had before they met and married.
Like a real-life version of the film “50 First Dates”, where Drew Barrymore has to be reminded every day of what has happened since in her life, he said there is no happy ending for him.
Unlike the film version, his wife has no pleasure from living because she can never remember any of the things that make life worth living from the day before.
He told Russian media that nothing makes her happy, and she shows very little interest in anything.
One of the few things that still seem to make her smile is food, and just like in the film sometimes he finds time when he can give her a special day, even though he knows she will not remember it.
He said that when he has tried to make her happy, given her a massage or played a game with her, she will sometimes be like her old self and flash him a smile, but the next day, it is all forgotten.
Sometimes, he said, he lies on the bed with his wife and they talk about their past lives and he tries to remind her, and occasionally she even remembers.
Not to seem excited, he said on those occasions he turns away and thinks: “My God, is everything getting better?”
But then the next day everything is back where it was before, and he has to start from the beginning again.
For the children it is the same, she has not bonded with them because she cannot remember them, and shows little interest in their lives.
Asked about the comparison with the film, he said that it was something he had never seen.
He said: “I don’t need to see a film like that, because I’m living something far worse.”
The older boy, he said, used to call him dad, but moved out when his mother was taken ill and now lives with her parents. He no longer answers calls from Gennady and will only come back when his mother is better.
The eight-year-old middle child cries a lot as he still remembers what she was like.
As well as looking after the two children he still has to work at the bank, and admits he is grateful his employers keep him on as he struggles to manage the role as a single parent and earn a living at the same time.
The only hope on the horizon is a course of therapy together with medication seems to be helping her get better, and he started a fundraising campaign to try and help pay for it.
Asked how he found the strength to carry on, he said he knew that his wife would never leave him, and loved him very much and still loves him. If the roles were reversed he said she would do the same for him.
His motivation he said was for the sake of the children, in order to save their childhood. He added: “I understand that she is not to blame for anything. It happened. It is our cross and we need to bear it.”
As to the original injection that caused the problem, prosecutors looked into it and decided that there was no case to answer, and that it was simply an allergic reaction to the injection.
This was rejected by Gennady who said that she had exactly the same injections with her first and second birth, and had not suffered an allergic reaction.
He and her relatives believe that she was given an overdose of the drug, but as they cannot prove it, Grennady only wishes that somebody from the hospital would at least apologize.