Doctors Delve Into the Mystery of a U.S. Navy Vet Suffering From Amnesia

Mia Fitzharris
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Doctors Delve Into the Mystery of a U.S. Navy Vet Suffering From Amnesia

Our story today seems more like a Jason Bourne movie plot than a real-life account. Michael Boatwright was found unconscious at a Motel 6 in Palm Springs back in February. When he awoke, he did not know his name, recognize himself in the mirror, or remember how to speak English. Luckily, he had identification and a few personal items on him, including five tennis rackets, a change of clothing, two cell phones, and photos of family and friends. Boatwright's records show that he served in the U.S. Navy from 1971 to 1973.

One important clue to the mystery is that he taught English in Japan for 10 years and in China for 4. Boatwright flew from Hong Kong to California on February 24, the date on which his Chinese visa expired. He was taken to Desert Regional Medical Center in Palm Springs and on March 13 was diagnosed with transient global amnesia. Now doctors at the hospital are desperately trying to find out more about him. His parents lived in Florida but according to records are both now deceased. And to make things even more confusing, Boatwright now speaks only in Swedish, requiring a translator for his doctors. He believes that his name is Johan Ek and does not recognize the people in the photographs. Medical professionals in Palm Springs are working hard to connect Boatwright with his family. He told interviewers, "Sometimes it makes me really sad, and sometimes it just makes me furious about the whole situation."

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