Search icon


28th Apr 2018

Viral photo of a woman with onset dementia tells a heart-wrenching story

Jade Hayden

A photo of a woman with onset dementia being cared for by her husband has gone viral.

Phyllis Feener was diagnosed with a subtype of dementia five years ago in 2013.

She was just 52-years-old at the time making her extremely young to have developed the condition.

Phyllis’s daughter, Kelli, recently shared a photo of her father, Stan, looking after her mother.

Kelli explained that her dad cares for Phyllis full time and that even though sometimes she doesn’t recognise him, “she knows she is safe with him.”

“If that’s not true love,” she wrote, “I don’t know what is.”

Kelli’s post was quickly shared around Twitter, amassing over 40,000 retweets and almost 500,000 likes.

Kelli also set up a GoFundMe page in order to raise money for her mother’s onset dementia care.

She wrote that neither she nor her family knows how much time they have left with Phyllis, but that she knows they are “… quickly moving to a place where more help is needed.”

Kelli said: “We have no way of knowing how much time we will have with Phyllis – it just depends on how quickly her disease progresses.

“It could be two years, it could be twenty years. Either way, this will be an ongoing journey and we will need help in the years to come.”

At the time of writing, over $18,000 had been raised for Phyllis’s care fund.

Kelli explained that the money will go towards in-home care for 14-hours or three days of adult daycare each week for a year.

She also said that her dad wanted to take Phyllis on “… a special anniversary trip this December while she is still able to enjoy that kind of thing.”

Early onset dementia can begin to affect people in their 30s and 40s.

You can read more about onset dementia here.