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The Daytimers

Ted Husband

The Daytimers
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Film synopsis

Editor Judith Parsons suffered an inoperable subarachnoid brain hemorrhage while chairing a board meeting in 1985 at the age of 43. She stopped breathing twice in the ambulance on route to the hospital, was rushed to emergency surgery and thereafter fell into a deep coma. It was assumed by the attending physicians that Judith would either perish in coma or require institutional care. Her family made the agonizing decision to remove life support. Contrary to all medical expectations, she breathed on her own. Six weeks later, to everyone’s shock and amazement, Judith awoke and uttered her first remarkable words, “Where is the blanket of earth that was covering me?” Judith was conscious again but had lost her ability to create new memories. For the next two years she worked tirelessly with occupational therapists to develop and implement systems that helped her return home to a newfound version of her pre-stroke life. Judith was instructed to diligently record her daily activities in a daytimer from morning until night. In so doing, it appears through repetition that she was able achieve the brain plasticity to engage her working memory and make new memories. By following this system, Judith was able to regain an incredible level of functionality. The Daytimers shines a light on Judith’s triumph in fighting her way back to “normal” using close to 40 years of daytimers to create order and meaning in an unfamiliar world.

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