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The Mystery of Michael Boatwright

A curious case involving a Florida man has become the inspiration for a proposed documentary. Michael Boatwright was found unconscious in a Palm Springs motel room last February and immediately taken to the Desert Regional Medical Centre to be examined. When he awoke, Boatwright claimed he was suffering amnesia and more extraordinary, he only spoke in Swedish. Although he had identification naming him as sixty-one year old Michael Thomas Boatwright, the man was convinced his name was Johan Ek.

Boatwright has remained at the medical centre for the past five months, and attracted the attention of two Swedish filmmakers who were visiting Palm Springs for a film festival. Ronny Fritsche and Farzad Farzaneh are currently fundraising to make the documentary. They are still working on the script and have also approached the Swedish Film Institute, a government department focused on supporting film making for funding. If completed, the documentary would provide a fascinating insight into what looks like a case foreign accent syndrome.

Foreign accent syndrome has been associated to injuries on the brain, and linked to severe migraines. Damage to certain parts of the brain can cause speech patterns to be radically altered resulting in the victim speaking in a completely different accent to that of their birth.

Whatever the cause of Boatwright’s trauma and strange condition, hypnosis can help with people suffering like he is, with amnesia. With support from the doctor and under strictly professional conditions, hypnosis can help relax the patient and possibly go some way to help regain memory, and in Boatwright’s case, his change of language, to find a possible solution.

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