Meridian Star

New Today

February 4, 2013

Virginia woman pieces together 17 years lost to amnesia

(Continued)

Shawnda and Shaylin now live with Marsha in a house in the woods on the outskirts of Frederick County, in Virginia, decorated front to back with Wild West-themed artwork and antiques.

Shawnda Rush doesn't leave the house without her precisely done makeup and array of jangly bracelets. These days, she's less into miniskirts and heels than she was as a younger woman, and is now more comfortable in jeans and a sweater. She talks with a mild country twang, and her demeanor sways quickly and easily between that of a giddy pre-teen and of a 38-year-old woman weathered by multiple sclerosis.

A normal day includes fatigue, numbness, muscle spasms and temperature sensitivity. A bad day includes migraines, vision problems, extreme fatigue and emotional lows. She undergoes difficult, monthly infusions of the drug Tysabri.

"The infusion takes a little over an hour, and then after that they take the IV out, and they have to monitor you to find out if you're going to die," she said, laughing.

But Shawnda is at least lucky that her massive memory loss coincided with the advent of a tool for rekindling relationships: Facebook.

"You've got to love it," Cindy Davekos-Wilson said. "I got curious if she was on there. She has never not been in my mind."

Cindy couldn't find Shawnda under her married name and had never known her maiden name. In August 2010, however, she woke up to a realization: Shawnda's mother's name was Marsha Rush. She sat down at the computer and typed in "Shawnda Rush." Bingo.

Shawnda accepted her friend request, and the pair reconnected over lunch last March. Cindy told Shawnda stories about her former life, and Shawnda told her that neither Shawnda nor her mother had anything to do with her husband banning Cindy from the house. They both cried at the sandwich shop that day. After being strangers for the better part of a decade, the two were friends again.

Text Only
New Today
Biz Marquee
New Today
Poll

Do you think people should be allowed to carry firearms into government buildings?

Yes
No
     View Results
Facebook
Facebook
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide