When he was 17, Chen Hongzhi was involved in a motor accident which left him with a severe head injury. Even after he recovered physically though, the damage to his brain persisted. He could no longer remember anything that happened to him after a period of five to ten minutes. 

Meet Chen Hongzhi, the Taiwanese man who can only remember things that happened to him five minutes ago.


Everyday he wakes up and his mother, Wang Miao-chiong (60) tells him that he’s no longer 17 and tries to explain his situation to him. His father passed away earlier.

He uses a black notebook as a dairy in which he records everything he sees, everyone he meets and even finances made from selling plastic bottles he collects.


Think about it for a minute. Education is impossible for him as he wouldn’t remember anything he learned. In fact, he needs to use his own phonetic script to understand what he’s written. The accident has left him incapable of even remembering the names of people he meets.

Every morning when he wakes up, the last eight years of his life are just gone. He looks into the mirror and sees a face he doesn’t recognise. His mother is the emotional pillar in his life while he supports her physically, by earning whatever income he can. 


But she expresses her concern about what will become of him once she’s no longer around.

Chen, however, continues to live strong. In spite of his handicap, he has continued to survive and perhaps with proper training he might even be able to hold down a regular job.

Kind of puts things into perspective, doesn’t it?