For anyone who has ever had a relative with Alzheimer’s, you understand that it’s not only hard for them, but it’s extremely hard on you too – especially when you have to watch them lose their faculties. One New Mexico woman, Lisa Abeyta, had the terrible time of having to watch as her father, Charles Sasser gradually lost most of his speech as the degenerative disease continued ravaging his mind.
The Albuquerque-based Sasser was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s roughly four or five years prior to that point. While it only affected his memory for some time, Abeyta soon noticed that it began to take a major toll on his speech. However, she noticed that as her father spent time with the family pets, little bits of conversation started coming from Sasser.
Abeyta, who ran a blog, had written about her family’s struggles with Alzheimer’s, however, it was a video that she posted to both YouTube and Reddit that truly moved people, and thousands of strangers reached out to share their own personal experiences with Alzheimer’s and dementia.
The video captured the moment Charles Sasser, a Korean war veteran, started speaking to the Abeyta’s family dog, Roscoe. Abeyta, who’s a tech entrepreneur, noted that her father had “cooed” to his own two dogs, Molly and Cassy, on many occasions, however, she was shocked by “his clarity and the ability to get out a complete sentence, not just a word here and there.”
Abeyta, a mother of three, started filming a portion of what would become a whole hour of her father with her dog. Her son helped her edit down the clip which was later uploaded to YouTube with the intent of sharing with her friends and her mother.
However, within that day, there were thousands of comments on the video, and on Reddit, with the clip receiving countless views.
As Abeyta shared with ABC News, “I’m touched by the response to the video … They talked about how having a pet or connecting with music really gave them back a loved one with Alzheimer’s. It’s been quite an amazing thing to hear people’s stories.”
Abeyta gave the credit to her mother, Pat Sasser, sharing that she was the one who cared for her father on a daily basis.
She said, “The true hero is my mom. This is her life’s work. I shared the video but my mom is the one who takes care of him by herself and I can’t give her enough credit.”
Watch the touching video below: