Man Wakes With Amnesia, Speaking Only Swedish

Doctors are looking into the mystery of Michael Boatwright


Posted Jul 16, 2013 8:14 AM CDT | Updated Jul 20, 2013 2:00 PM CDT

(Newser) – Doctors are looking into the mystery of a Florida man who awoke speaking only Swedish, with no memory of his past, after he was found unconscious four months ago at a Southern California motel. Michael Boatwright, 61, was in February taken to a Palm Springs medical center where he woke up with amnesia, calling himself Johan Ek, reports the Desert Sun. The paper yesterday managed to track down the man's sister, who says she hasn't seen him in a decade.

Hospital officials said Boatwright may have been in town for a tennis tournament in the Coachella Valley. He was found with a duffel bag of exercise clothes, a backpack, and tennis rackets, along with four forms of identification naming him as Michael Thomas Boatwright. In March, doctors diagnosed Boatwright with Transient Global Amnesia, a condition triggered by physical or emotional trauma that can last for several months. Among the things he still doesn't remember: how to exchange money, take public transportation, or understand English, nor does he recall the existence of his son and two ex-wives. The Sun is slowly piecing together pieces of his colorful-sounding past, which includes a stint on the Honey Bea off the Rhode Island coast in 1984, and time spent in Mexico and Miami; the paper dug up online profiles that indicate he taught English in China and Japan for some 14 years.

  (Shutterstock)
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