There is a commonly held belief that the couples who are meant to be, are the ones who go through things that have the potential to tear them apart, but, instead, they end up coming out stronger. Laura Faganello’s story proves this statement to be true. After enduring a serious and life-changing trauma, Laura took to social media to share this powerful and heartwarming story.
Laura initially shared just a small part of her story with her Facebook friends and, later, decided to tell the complete story on the blog ‘Love What Matters.’ After reading her story, the world became enamoured with Laura and her boyfriend. They ended up falling in love with Laura’s boyfriend, just as she had… twice.
Read on to hear the incredible story… and, make sure you keep the tissues close by!ADVERTISEMENT
From strangers to lovers
To give you a little context, Laura and Brayden Faganello come from Victoria, British Columbia. They met in a slightly unconventional way, which will be explained later, but it didn’t take long for them to fall madly in love with one another.
The first time they spoke, they were actually total strangers. This is relatively common these days, with the ever-increasing popularity of social media platforms. This, however, wasn’t the only time throughout the course of their relationship, that they have been strangers.
Let’s wind the clocks back, to 2015, when Brayden was serving in South Africa through the Church of Latter-Day Saints. Laura and Brayden had not yet made each other’s acquaintance, but Laura did know some of Brayden’s cousins, who had actually decided that Laura would be perfect for Brayden. They suggested that Laura write a letter to Brayden and gave her his address, but she wasn’t at all interested.
At this point in time, love was the last thing on Laura’s mind. She had far too much going on to even consider it. She was about to go and visit her mum and dad who were doing some missionary work in Brussels. After that, she would go on to study in Spain.
However, after giving it some more thought, Laura decided to write Brayden a latter anyway, since she had nothing to lose. She gave Brayden the address for her home in Victoria, rather than her parent’s home in Brussels.
The idea was that she then wouldn’t be distracted from enjoying summer with her parents or her studies. Thus, Laura completely forgot about Brayden and the letter. That was until she received a call from her brother, who was still back in British Columbia.
An unexpected reply
It was Laura’s birthday, so her brother was calling to wish her a happy birthday. He also informed her that there was a letter for her from someone called Brayden. Not only had he wished her a happy birthday in the letter, but he also clearly wanted to know more about this mystery woman and impress her, if he could.
His attempt at impressing her with his wit and charm was a success. Laura described the letter as the “funniest thing I had ever read.” This reaction motivated her to send the missionary another letter. She was intrigued to know more about him. This time, however, she wrote her current address on the envelope, eager to receive another response sooner rather than later.ADVERTISEMENThttps://70f1cc0786c0da36f10b1b5b406508e7.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html
Letters from South Africa
After sending a few letters back and forth, Laura soon came to realise that sending Brayden that first letter was one of the best decisions she’d ever made. Over the next eight months, Laura and Brayden continued to write to each other. But, why letters?
While both owned smartphones, they decided that letters were more personal and romantic, so, instead of texting or Facetiming, they opted to do it the old fashioned way. However, in addition to the letters, they did start emailing each other once a week, to increase their contact. Laura reflected on this in her blog, stating that “the happiest days were the ones where a letter from South Africa appeared in my mailbox.”
The perfect meeting
While South Africa and Europe felt like worlds apart, this distance was only temporary. The pair both ended up moving back to Victoria, within just a month of each other. They would finally be able to meet face to face. After talking to each other for months and months, they couldn’t have been more excited about meeting for the first time!
Their first meeting was everything they could have ever dreamed of and, by January, the pair were officially dating. They soon fell in love and declared this to one another just one month after meeting. Things were certainly moving fast, but the connection between them was undeniable. As April came around, Brayden made a bold decision and asked Laura to marry him.ADVERTISEMENThttps://70f1cc0786c0da36f10b1b5b406508e7.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html
Just three months after Brayden proposed, the pair were set to exchange their vows. It was a July wedding and the couple were blessed with beautiful weather. It was an incredible day, spent with their loved ones. Brayden would never forget it.
The newly weds were in a state of utopia. They couldn’t have been happier. However, unfortunately, this was not to last. Nine months later, something happened that would turn their world upside down. A horrific accident was about to cause Laura to lose all memory of her married life up until this point.
An unexpected turn
That same year, Laura completed her final college exams. A couple of days after her final exam, a family friend asked Laura for her assistance in preparing for an event she was putting on. Laura was more than happy to help out.
They asked Laura to help them deck out a tent. What should have been a very straightforward job ended up taking an unexpected turn. The weather was awful that day, with extremely strong winds blowing all over the place. The tent was not strong enough to provide a sufficient shelter for them and, inside the tent, balloons were popping and all the glasses were shattering.
Some details remain
Some of the details of this day have remained in Laura’s memory and it is unlikely that she will ever forget them. She remembers a group of three women desperately trying to prevent the support poles from collapsing.
Laura recalls that the pole hadn’t been placed properly, but there was a coordinator there at the time assisting them, so she assumed that everything was under control. She actually didn’t think much of the situation, but perhaps this was her downfall…
Laura had been asked to decorate the tables inside the tent. As she was hunched over the table, arranging it beautifully, she heard a sudden gasp, coming from the woman closest to her. Before she had a chance to react, it was too late.
It all happened so fast. One minute she was absolutely fine, and the next, far from it. She felt a huge thump over her head. The tent’s support pole had crashed down and landed straight on Laura’s skull. Laura’s immediate reaction was to put her hands to her head.
It didn’t knock her out straight away, but it wasn’t long before she felt the room start to spin and she began to dip in and out of consciousness. It was at this moment that Laura’s life would change forever. The impact of the pole on her head effected her brain drastically, altering her memory and causing her to believe that she was 17 years old again.
In that moment, all she wanted was for her parents to be there by her side, looking after her. She had absolutely no recollection of the fact that they had moved to Brussels three years earlier. Laura’s mind was spinning relentlessly and she had lost all sense of reality.
Just like that, Laura had no knowledge of her current life. With that one thump, her memory was severely altered and everything she knew had vanished. Not only did she believe that she was younger than she was, but she also didn’t recognise some of the people around her.
The details of her life were very foggy and she had no memory whatsoever of her wedding day. When she finally came to, she was shocked to discover that she was married. She couldn’t get her head around it, especially since she thought she was 17 years old and therefore, not old enough to be married.
Not giving up
She didn’t recognise Brayden at all, he was a complete stranger to her. This was, of course, heartbreaking for Brayden, but he was not about to give up. He still considered her to be his wife, even if she didn’t him. Following the incident, her family were keen to get her back to some degree of normality. While in theory that sounds like a great idea, for Laura, this was a terrifying concept.
To Laura, she was still a teenager, married to a man she had no recollection of ever meeting. She described waking up next to him in a “rush of panic”. She was a little freaked out when she woke up to a smiling Brayden.
The situation was completely overwhelming for Laura, understandably. She couldn’t even reach the bathroom in time to be sick. It was too much. However, as ignorant as she was about the details of her new life, she knew that it was the truth. The facts were staring her in the face.
All of her stuff was set up in their bedroom, next to Brayden’s. Their wedding album was sitting on the coffee table and she had a beautiful wedding ring on her finger. All the pieces to the puzzle were there, she was just having trouble piecing them together herself. Everything she had experienced beyond the age of 17, had been totally erased from her memory.
Afraid of her husband
Every morning, she would wake up to a total stranger. She couldn’t remember a single detail of her life following high school. Most days, Laura would wake up very distressed and, often in tears. These were understandable emotions for someone who has been through what she went through.
Some days she would wake up screaming. While this was, of course, devastating for Laura herself, imagine how difficult this must have been for her husband. On a good day, Laura would wake up not feeling as though she was in any immediate danger. For Brayden, these mornings were amazing. Nothing made him more sad, than seeing how terrified his wife was of him.
In a bad way
Unfortunately, Laura’s memory loss wasn’t a temporary thing. Over the next couple of years, she had a really difficult time adjusting to the reality of what had happened. She was constantly on edge and afraid. She barely even knew who she was, let alone the people around her. If things weren’t bad enough, she started to experience physical pain, in addition to the difficulties she was facing mentally.
The pole falling on her had caused some serious damage to her spinal cord. She experienced back spasms and intense headaches, waking up in the middle of the night in a lot of pain. Unfortunately, despite her regular trips to the ER with Brayden, this was a nasty side effect of the injury that would persist.
Life torn apart
It was difficult for Laura to live a normal life, considering the amount of pain she experienced on a daily basis. Up until this point, she had dreamed of one day becoming a teacher, but she had to put this dream to bed. She ended up leaving college without graduating.
If losing her memory for things she’d experienced wasn’t enough, Laura also lost her ability to read and write. At times, she struggled to form complete sentences. Laura did get in touch with the company in charge of the event on that dreaded day, but they refused to take responsibility for what had happened. Laura didn’t have the energy to take it further, so she received no compensation.
As her medical bills piled up, Laura found herself in a tough situation, financially. She was also forced to leave her job because she couldn’t function properly, so receiving some compensation would have been helpful.
Alongside dealing with all of this pressure, Laura was trying to come to terms with her new life as a married woman. While Brayden was a complete stranger in her eyes, she was still his wife in the eyes of the law and that wasn’t about to change.
As the days passed, Laura learnt more about her life prior to the accident. She so hoped that, one day, her memory might return to her and she would remember everything that came before. Unfortunately, this never happened…
Laura had no recollection of how happy she had been with Brayden and how much she had loved him. Now he was merely a stranger to her, a stranger who she was married to. She didn’t want this life at all. She just wanted to be back with her parents and friends, living her old life.
Hoping for a miracle
Brayden, to his despair, could see how difficult his wife was finding things and how terrified she was. She would even jump whenever he touched her and had a confused look in her eyes when she looked at him. She was utterly lost and this broke his heart to see. He still loved her so much.
Brayden also wanted his old life back, but for different reasons. All he could do was hope, hope that one day she would realise how much she loves him and how incredibly perfect they are for each other. He knew this was unlikely, but this didn’t stop him praying for a miracle.
Several months later, Laura and Brayden’s relationship finally reached a turning point. While Laura couldn’t remember the love she and Brayden had shared, the more time they spent together, the more subtle memories started to slowly come back to her. She started to feel that there was a connection between them.
This actually had the effect of confusing her even more. She started to resent their marriage, feeling a sense of panic whenever she looked down at her wedding ring. She felt completely trapped and utterly helpless.
Laura was in an extremely difficult position. She didn’t know whether to stay with this man, who clearly really loved her, and who she had loved back once upon a time, or to leave him and start over. Maybe a fresh start was exactly what she needed.
Deep down, Laura felt that staying with Brayden was the right thing to do, but if she did stay with him, she would have to confront a lifetime of lost memories. This decision was even harder to make, since she could see how much Brayden cared for her and loved her. He never stopped trying. The last thing she wanted to do was to hurt him.
Laura had reached a low point and she knew something needed to change. She was determined to try and live as normal a life as possible. This was obviously difficult considering the fact that she wasn’t physically able to hold down a regular job. She started reflecting on what her aspirations had been before the accident.
Laura and Brayden’s dream had been to start their own photography and videography business. After thinking long and hard about her potential options, she decided to focus all of her energy into making this dream a reality. She had to take this slowly initially, as she didn’t want to take on too much, too fast. It became known as her “passion project.”
Getting back into photography
The accident effected Laura’s ability to concentrate for a long period of time. She only had the capacity to focus for around 15 minutes when she started on this project and, following this period, she would have to take a three hour break in order to recuperate. Concentrating like this would often lead to intense headaches.
Each time Laura worked, she would cry out in pain. However, she didn’t let this stop her drive and continued to work hard in spite of the pain. Laura’s passion for photography soon started to return to her. This confirmed to her that she had made the right decision in getting back into photography.
A couple of years following the incident, Laura felt that she had a new lease of life. She felt positive and extremely determined to get her life back on track, whatever it took. She knew that the only way to do this, was to fight through the pain.
Laura took the decision to go back to school. It was a tough decision, considering she knew how difficult it would be, especially given that she still struggled to read and write. She was so determined, that she refused to let this stop her from obtaining a degree.
Source: The Sun