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An American Man With Amnesia Returns To Sweden To Find Himself Again

posted 21 Aug 2013, 10:43 by Mpelembe   [ updated 21 Aug 2013, 10:44 ]

An American man who woke up in hospital one day earlier this year only speaking Swedish, returns to Sweden to find himself again.

GOTHENBURGSWEDEN (AUGUST 20, 2013)(TV4) -  Michael Boatwright from California, who woke up after a seizure to find that he only spoke Swedish, arrived in Sweden on Tuesday (August 20) to try to find himself and his memories again.

Born in Florida, Boatwright, 61, lived in Sweden for several years during the 1980s and 90s.

"There are no words for it, or perhaps there are, but I'm so tired," Boatwright toldSweden's TV4 News after he arrived in Gothenburg and was greeted by his former girlfriend from the 1980s, Ewa Espling.

Before they met at the airport, they had not seen each other since 1984.

Espling has arranged somewhere for Boatwright to live and local authorities in Palm Springs, where he had received care, paid for the one-way flight.

His fate aroused media interest and the former U.S. Navy vet said many people had contacted him on Facebook.

"Many people have written to me on Facebook, saying 'I know you, I know you'," he said.

According to local media, doctors believe it could be the case of dissociative amnesia - memory loss that can be triggered by physical or emotional trauma.

"I was shaking as if I had an epileptic fit which it wasn't but I was shaking badly and I didn't know where I was or who I was and suddenly there was a nurse asking 'who are you, who are you? What are you saying? I don't understand what you're saying'," Boatwright remembers.

Since then he has tried to regain his memory with the help of doctors. He also has to do exercises in English and he said he was making good progress.

Boatwright said he was not scared of finding out bad memories.

"I'm just happy about those too. The good and the bad memories are a part of my life so I gladly accept them," he said.

Espling said the time Boatwright spent in Sweden had been a good period in his life and doctors said that was the reason he was speaking Swedish.

"The time he spent in Sweden was a positive period, a comfortable time for Michael, and he was happy here and the psychologist at the hospital in the United States explained it to him that way, that it was because he felt safe and well here and that is why he speaks Swedish instead of English," Espling, who dated Boatwright briefly, said.

Boatwright said he hoped he would find answers in Sweden.

"I don't know. I know a little but I want to know it all, the whole me, and I think here I can get the answers and that is the aim, to get the answers here," he said.