I don't know my family after stroke; Dad of two tells of harrowing face blindness.
Byline: JACK EVANS
A DEVASTATED dad can no longer recognise his wife and children after a minor stroke.
Bob Cockshott, 58, has face blindness, or prosopagnosia.
He said: "Once I saw a picture of a couple with a baby and didn't realise it was me and my wife."
Bob first knew something was wrong when he couldn't identify his son at the school gates as he waited for him.
He had been discharged after swelling, from the clot on his brain, had gone down and was told the only damage was a tiny loss of vision. Bob added: "But after I did some tests, they told me I had a severe impairment."
Bob, of Orpington, South East London copes by memorising people's distinctive features, clothing and speech. He added: "If a picture of my wife was in front of me and her hair was tied back, I couldn't say who it was."
Prosopagnosia, affecting one in 50, is caused by an impairment in the part of the brain that links facial perception and memory.
The company director and his wife Clare have been married 22 years and have a son Alex, 13, and daughter Anne, 17.
Bob has had to live with his condition since 2008. He added "Now the kids are grown I can't remember what they looked like when they were children."
BLANK LOOK Wife Clare helps Bob with album