LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) – A car accident in July, 2004 flung Joseph Thompson from his car causing multiple brain injuries. Doctors said he was lucky to survive the incident, but when he woke up Thompson had lost a huge chunk of his memory. His last memory was as a young boy in the sixth grade. His wife, Brenda, and children were all erased.
"Everyone speaking to you and you don't know who they are…it's kind of nerve racking," described Thompson.
Thompson did not remember any his favorite foods and hobbies or recognize new technology.
"Mp3 players, computers...all that was foreign to me. I couldn't even pump gas," said Thompson.
He survived severe brain injury, but without most of his past 45 years, Thompson was left searching for a new identity.
"There's me and then there's him. There's this guy here, that's the Joe that everybody knows. I'm the new guy," explained Thompson.
His family, he said, suffered more from the accident than he did.
"They are more I guess distraught about this whole situation than I am because for me it's like what I don't know doesn't bother me," said Thompson.
The new Thompson does not like sports, while his former self was a fanatic. He does not even have the same taste in food.
"She [Brenda] was all excited 'I brought a cake home for you to try,' [said Brenda]. I tried it and I didn't like it. It was so sad to see the look on her face," said Thompson.
Thompson continues to search for his likes and dislikes and discover new things everyday.