A FAMILY man who doted on his wife, children and grandchildren has been left with no long-term memory after being bitten by a Blandford fly.
Gary Newman from Hereford was bitten by the fly in May 2015 while he was working outside as a self-employed builder.
The result was catastrophic as the fly infected him with the herpes virus which caused infectious encephalitis, where the brain becomes swollen.
The 59-year-old can now no longer remember his wife, Christine, who he has been married to for more than 30 years or his three children or six grandchildren.
His daughter, Nina Newman from Eardisley, said: "He writes a diary so he knows he is ill. You can have a conversation a bit with him. He will say, 'I am not right. I have got to wait to get better. It is taking a long time.'
"He will say, 'I don't know you. You say you are my daughter but I don't know you.' It is very hard to listen to.
"Nothing comes back to him. Or about my mum. She has been with him for 33 years and now he remembers nothing at all.
"He knows he has a wife because of his diary. He can be quite rude and nasty and doesn't know he is doing it. He says to her 'Don't hold my hand,' and 'Don't go near me.'"
"He is so different. He loved his grandchildren and took them on holiday. And my mum and dad's relationship, if you could say there was a perfect marriage you could say it about them.
"He would still give her a kiss when he came home and walked through the door. They still held hands. Everyone used to comment on how loved-up they were after so many years."
Christine, 58, is now Gary’s carer and is hoping that by showing him photos he will begin to remember.
He suffered from flu-like symptoms after contracting the virus but later the same night suffered a seizure and was rushed to hospital. He was diagnosed four days later.
Nina feels that the medical help offered so far hasn't addressed his psychiatric problems and that if he had lived in a big city he would have gone straight into a rehabilitation centre after being diagnosed.
She is now raising money to find some help privately- hopefully with a neurologist and psychologist.
Nina said: "This is me trying to do something about it. I don't know where else to turn."
To donate go to www.gofundme.com/support-after-dads-illness