Woman recalls caring for father with Alzheimer's

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Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2019
(News 12 First at 5)

(WRDW/WAGT) -- Losing a loved one is hard, but especially so when they forget who you are. That’s how Tammy Kay Brunson felt as a caregiver to her father.

"He just loved a beautiful sunshiny day, he loved flowers, and he loved my momma," Tammy remembered her father.

Although he couldn’t remember the specifics, her father was able to remember that she was someone special in his life and to never stop rooting for his favorite team. She recalls one memory at a Cracker Barrel.

"He kept saying I don't remember where we are but I know you know where we are so I'm so glad we're here."

Tammy's father passed away a few months ago but, like 140,000 Georgia residents, he lived with Alzheimer’s.

"The thing that was a heart breaker was that, even though momma and I were there and we would wrap him in our arms and we would try to hold him and comfort him, there was just something about this disease, this awful disease that made it unable for him to be comforted."

Alzheimer’s is the only leading cause of death in America without a way to prevent, cure, or even slow its progression. But Tammy hopes that won't be the case for long.

"We are asking for $350,000 to fund this awareness campaign through the Department of Health because we want people to realize that this is a public health issue."

Tammy tells News 12 that caring for her father helped her find her new calling since retiring from teaching.