Wed, Jul 17, 2013 - Page 7 News List

Doctors seek mystery man’s identity

AP, PALM SPRINGS, California

Four months after a Florida man was found unconscious in a Palm Springs, California, motel, doctors are looking into the mystery of his identity after he awoke with no memory of his past and speaking only Swedish.

Michael Boatwright, 61, woke up with amnesia, calling himself Johan Ek, the Desert Sun newspaper reported. Boatwright was found unconscious in a Motel 6 room in February. After police arrived, he was transported to the Desert Regional Medical Center in Palm Springs where he woke up.

Hospital officials said Boatwright might 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. He also carried a passport, a California ID card, a veteran’s medical card and a Social Security card — all of which identified 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.

The rare mental disorder is characterized by memory loss, “sudden and unplanned travel,” and possible adoption of a new identity, according to the Sun.

Medical personnel and social workers have been unable to locate Boatwright’s next of kin. Authorities are still unsure of his birthplace, listed on his ID as Florida — photographs show him in Sweden at a young age.

Boatwright does not recall how to exchange money, take public transportation, or seek temporary housing like homeless shelters or hotels, the social worker assigned to his case, Lisa Hunt-Vasquez, told the Sun.

He does not remember his son and two ex-wives, either.

“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, I don’t recognize anybody,” Boatwright told the newspaper.

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