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Sammy Jankis

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"Remember Sammy Jankis."

Sammy Jankis was a semi-retired accountant who got into a car accident that gave him permanent short-term memory loss.

Leonard's story Edit

Leonard Shelby's story stated that Sammy and his wife had a car crash that wasn't too serious, but caused Sammy possible damage to the hippocampus, leaving him unable to make new memories. His wife called the insurance company when the medical bills piled up, and Leonard (an insurance invesigator) was sent in to assess whether Sammy's condition was genuine.

After visiting the Jankis's home several times, Leonard ordered some tests to be carried out by a doctor. Sammy had to pick up a series of metal objects at random, some of which were electrified, to see if he would learn through repetition of the task to avoid the electrified objects by instinct. The tests were carried out but Sammy did not learn through conditioning, so Leonard concluded his problem was mental, not physical.

With the claim turned down, his wife then tried to bully him into remembering things. She had him hide food around the house, to see if he would get hungry enough to remember where he had put it, but nothing brought back his memory. Eventually, his wife decided to test him by making him inject her with insulin, many times in the space of an hour, to see if he would realise he was giving her an overdose. He did not remember, and subsequently his wife fell into a coma and died. Sammy was unable to understand or explain what had happened, and so he was committed to a mental asylum for the rest of his life. Leonard then used Sammy's story as a way to remind himself that he must stay organised and note everything down.

Teddy's story Edit

Teddy stated that Sammy Jankis did exist, but never had a wife. He was in fact faking his condition, and Leonard exposed him as a fraud during the investigation. Leonard then projected his own life, and his accidental killing of his own wife, onto Sammy when remembering the story.

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