Faithfulness is integral in marriage. One Japanese man has proven how devoted he is to his fiancée, who’s now his wife, after she forgot who he was due to an extremely rare brain illness by waiting almost eight years for her recovery.
Hisashi Nishizawa and his fiancée, Mai Nakahara, planned to tie the knot in early March 2007, but Hisashi had to cancel the wedding months prior to their big day, for his bride-to-be started acting oddly.
Mai showed obvious signs she was losing her mind; she was becoming worryingly forgetful, and even made strange screeching sounds at night.
Doctors had no idea what her problem was, and sent her to a psychiatric hospital. There, Mai’s baffling predicament began to spiral out of control. Her heart and lungs seemed to give up, and she fell into a coma. Mai was immediately transferred to Okayama University Hospital, where she was kept alive but remained unresponsive.
Doctors diagnosed her with anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis, an extremely rare disorder that turns the body’s immune system against itself, thus allowing viruses and bacteria to attack the brain.
Month after month passed. Mai remained in the hospital receiving treatment, but her memory evaded her. With heavy hearts, Mai’s parents suggested to Hisashi that he find another woman. But Hisashi, who devotedly stayed by Mai’s side and thought not of abandoning his love, said, “I’ll wait.”
Three years passed, and by 2011, Mai started to understand voices and could even write her own name again. Though she recognized her parents, there was one man who was always by her side … but she just didn’t know who he was.
“Why is he always here?” she thought, she recalled later.
That’s when the photos started coming out, photos that would refresh Mai’s memory. Mai saw that the “stranger” who never left her side was the man in many of her photos.
Moreover, she saw the date March 11, 2007, next to the words “wedding ceremony.”
“Am I married?” she wondered.
Bit by bit, with the help of her family, friends, and her ever-devoted groom-to-be, Mai’s memories proved they were not lost after all.
Though Mai still required further hospital stays, she was okay to be discharged. The couple’s wedding planner, Ai Kubota, was contacted, and a new date for the wedding was scheduled.
“When I received the call, I couldn’t believe it,” said Ai. “I was delighted, saying, ‘It’s a revival.’”
On Dec. 21, 2014, Hisashi, who was 34 years old by then, and Mai, 32, finally tied the knot, almost eight years after their originally proposed date.
“I am so grateful,” Mai said. “I want to make a happy family together.”
Mai and Hisashi’s real-life story has been reproduced in a Japanese TV series, a movie, and a book.
The saying that “actions speak louder than words” is exemplified through and through by Hisashi’s faithfulness for Mai, and his spirit of never giving up in the face of hopelessness and despair.
“It would be unthinkable if only I returned to an ordinary life,” Hisashi said. “As I was seeing her recovering day by day, though little by little, I did not feel that eight years were that long.”
Mai’s parents can rest assured that their daughter has found the right man, a man who will always remain faithful to her through thick and thin, in sickness and in health.
Photo Credit: YouTube Screenshot | OneHeartWedding by テイクアンドギヴ・ニーズ