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article imageBizarre amnesia case as a U.S. man wakes up speaking only Swedish

By Marcus Hondro     Jul 16, 2013 in Odd News
An American man has woken up after four months of being unconscious speaking only Swedish. Michael Boatwright, 61, who calls himself Johan Ek now, has identification that says he's from Florida but he was found in a hotel room in Palm Springs, Calif.
A sister, Michele Brewer, was located in Louisiana, where he was born and grew up. He does not remember her, or anyone from his past, and she was unable to help in any case, telling the Associated Press she hadn't spoken to him in years.
“He’s always been just a wanderer,” she told AP by phone. “Then he’d come back when he needed some money or something from somebody. Then he’d take off again.”
Florida man forgets past, speaks Swedish
Found unconscious in February in his hotel room in Palm Springs with a Social Security card, a passport, a California identification card, a veteran’s medical card and photos from his past, including family photos, he was taken to Desert Regional Medical Center and lay there unconscious until suddenly waking up. He speaks only in Swedish and a translator must be used for communication.
Kate McGinty has covered the story extensively for the Palm Springs Desert News and while Boatwright's plight has been a great topic of interest no one has stepped forward to shed more light on his life.
But details, such has his having served in the U.S. Navy and lived and worked in China and Japan and Sweden, are emerging from research McGinty and those at the medical center have done. Boatwright has had some past memories, but they have been few and they are disjointed.
The bank accounts he has yielded only a total of $187. He appears to have a son and two ex-wives but he does not remember them. They've uncovered some details about his time spent in Sweden and he told McGinty he and his therapists feel he likely reverted to that language because he felt secure there.
Amnesia likely caused by trauma
Diagnosed with Transient Global Amnesia, his therapists feel it was caused by a physical or emotional trauma, but what they don't know. He had tennis rackets and clothing with him and may have been in Palm Springs for a tennis tournament taking place at that time, but those clues have revealed little.
“Sometimes it makes me really sad and sometimes it just makes me furious about the whole situation and the fact that I don’t know anybody," he told McGinty through a translator. "I don’t recognize anybody."
More about michael boatwright, johan ek, Transient Global Amnesia, Amnesia, Swedish
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