Home Blog Posts 50 First Dates (2004) – meet the real Lucy

50 First Dates (2004) – meet the real Lucy


50 First Dates (2004) – meet the real Lucy


Synopsis: Henry Roth (Adam Sandler) is a man afraid of commitment up until he meets the beautiful Lucy (Drew Barrymore). They hit it off and Henry think he’s finally found the girl of his dreams, until he discovers she has short-term memory loss and forgets him the very next day. (source: IMDb)

The True Story

We found this story on the Daily Mail website. Every day, Michelle Philpots wakes up next to a man who has to convince her they are married. When she expresses doubt, he takes out a photo album and shows her pictures of their wedding 13 years ago. Only then does amnesiac Mrs Philpots accept she is talking to her husband, Ian, and that everything he has told her is true.

Michelle Philpots pictured here with some of the dozens of notes she writes to herself
Michelle Philpots pictured here with some of the dozens of notes she writes to herself

Michelle and Ian on their wedding day in 1997. She lost her short-term memory in 1994 and every day since then he has to convince her they are married. Some days he has to get out the wedding pictures to prove they are husband and wife

The 47-year-old’s condition was caused by brain injuries sustained in two road accidents. She can recall everything up to 1994 but since then everything that happens on one day is forgotten the next. And it is not just loved ones Mrs Philpots struggles with. She uses hundreds of Post-It notes and reminders on her mobile phone’s calendar to keep her informed of appointments and everyday duties. Anything she has done or anyone she has met must be logged for future reference. And on the rare occasions she ventures out of her home in Spalding, Lincolnshire, she goes armed with sat-nav programmed with her address.

‘I love to watch EastEnders but I can’t remember the characters or any story lines.’ Her husband, a 46-year-old fencer, said the secret of the success of their marriage was patience.

‘It can be very frustrating for me but I have to be patient and understand. I have to keep calm because I love her,’ he said.

‘I’ve known her for 25 years so I am lucky we met before she had the accidents because she can remember me. Luckily we have lots of photos to remind her, otherwise she would forget it all.’

Mrs Philpots suffered brain injuries in a motorbike crash in 1985 and a car accident in 1990. The couple have no children.

The aftermath of one of 1990 crash which took place five years after a motorbike crash. The incidents caused her to lose her short-term memory.


Dr Peter Nestor, a neuroscience specialist at Cambridge University, said Mrs Philpots was suffering from anterograde amnesia.

He added: ‘It is reasonably rare but it does exist. You are capable of carrying out day-to-day things and don’t forget how to do certain things like speaking.

‘But if someone was to ask you what you did yesterday, you wouldn’t have a clue.’

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