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Rare Condition Means Mom-Of-Two Can't Recognize Her OWN KIDS!

Thu, May 5, 2011 10:38am EDT by Add first Comment

Imagine not being able to recognize the faces of your own children – that’s the reality for mom-of-two Tara Fall, who suffers a condition known as ‘face-blindness.’

The illness means Tara, from Iowa wakes up every morning in a house full of strangers and is forced to use memory tricks so she can remember her husband and two daughters. How does she cope?!

Tara explains, “I take people in from the clothes they are wearing, their lipstick, jewelry, any other characteristics away from their actual face.”

This means she has to memorize what her daughters are wearing when they leave for school in the morning — so she knows who they are when they walk back through the door at the end of the day.
“If they were ever to change their clothes at school I’d be in so much trouble,” she jokes, during an appearance on The Today Show.

In crowded places she is forced to use a “process of inclusion and exclusion” to separate her children from other kids. “You know, there are little things to include, like you need two girls and they’re gonna be blond and they’re gonna be together.”

The illness, known by doctors as Prosopagnosia, effects around two percent of Americans, although not all as severely as Tara.

It has blighted her life since she suffered a stroke during surgery to cure her epilepsy when she was just 27. And doctors insist there’s no hope for a cure — she’s stuck with the condition for life.

But Tara refuses to let it destroy her spirit — despite the added stress of a husband serving overseas in the Navy.

“I don’t know my kids, but I get to pick them up every day from school and they hold my hand and they are excited and they wrap their arms around me and they tell me, ‘Thank you.’ What more do I need?” Tara explains. “I mean, I find so much strength from the simple gifts I get to experience every day.” How heartbreaking!

We admire your strength, Tara. How would you cope HollyMoms?

— Ian Garland

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