Swedish-Speaking Amnesiac Starts His New Life
With ex-lover he doesn't remember
By Arden Dier, Newser Staff
Posted Aug 22, 2013 11:44 AM CDT
Florida-born US Navy veteran Michael Boatwright woke up without any memory of his life and can only speak Swedish.   (TheRunListChannel)

(Newser) – Six months after waking up in a Palm Springs hospital with Transient Global Amnesia—speaking only Swedish with no recollection of his past—US Navy vet Michael Boatwright has landed back in Sweden, where he lived on and off for 20 years, the AP reports. With "no alternatives to homelessness," California's Riverside County Department of Mental Health paid for Boatwright's one-way ticket to the country where he now hopes to rebuild a life with the help of a woman he dated in the mid-1980s—even though he doesn't remember her, USA Today reports.

"Michael asked me, 'Why are you doing this for me?' Because I know Michael would have done the same thing for me," Ewa Espling told CNN. "This is a very nice man with a very big heart." And though Boatwright will have a tough time overcoming what he calls "probably the worst thing you could ever go through" after death, he's optimistic, and hopes to land a job as a tennis instructor. "I just want to be able to live a normal life and hopefully get my memory back," he said through a translator. On his feelings for Espling: "I feel warm on the inside."

More From Newser
My Take on This Story
To report an error on this story,
notify our editors.
Swedish-Speaking Amnesiac Starts His New Life is...
Show results without voting
You Might Like
Showing 3 of 24 comments
Aug 23, 2013 6:43 AM CDT
If I wake up speaking only English, shoot me.
Aug 22, 2013 9:31 PM CDT
Her name is Espling, and he seems to be a bit of an ESPling himself...
Aug 22, 2013 3:46 PM CDT
I worked and served with Michael Thomas Boatwright during Vietnam 1972-1973 aboard the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Midway. He was an aviation/aircraft mechanic like myself and in VA-115 (Attack squadron 115). I worked with him in the airframes department but only for around a month or a little longer. I remember him being a very mellow and nice guy, and easy to get along with. I was planning on seeing and visiting him to possibly 'jar' his memory but before I could try and get out there they had transferred him to a homeless shelter in north Palm Springs, and now I just found out he's sent back to Sweden. I was in total disbelief when I first saw the story about him and saw his name. I recognized the name immediately and then read where it said he served in the Navy 1971-1973. I served 1971-1974 and he got out before me, but I didn't keep in contact with him. I worked in a different department later therefore I only saw him occasionally after that. I just hope he gets his life back together and hopefully, his memory as well. It's really incredible what happened to him and people should not make any bad comments about his situation. I knew it was the same guy after seeing several photos and especially one where he's wearing glasses, which look like the exact same glasses he had when I knew him aboard the Midway. Either that or he bought similar looking ones. On the ship during Vietnam Michael had a full beard. I'm surprised no other shipmates have come to see him, but I was really hoping to have visited him while he was at Desert Regional Medical Center in Palm Springs.