A woman found barely conscious this past February by Carlsbad, Ca. firefighters claims to have no memory of her past or even her own name.
Police told NBC San Diego that first responders found the woman, who is now calling herself "Sam," "barely conscious" in Carlsbad and was apparently unable to tell officers any personal information. She was taken to the hospital, and according to a Facebook page, she's started to try and find her family. She was diagnosed with ovarian cancer that is apparently the source of her amnesia:
The amnesia I have is called retro amnesia and doctors have seen this before with the kind of antibodies that were found on the volleyball sized tumor that was on my ovary. The doctors said it could have been growing for 5 years causing me to be forgetful of things.
“I just feel like there’s a thick fog over my mind, my memory, over my brain that I can’t see through,” Sam told NBC San Diego. “I can’t remember anything. How I got here? I didn’t have anything on me, no jewelry, no purse, nothing.”
Sam speaks English and French, and in the intervening months since she was found, claims to have been experiencing vivid dreams about living in Hawaii and Australia, remembering aspects of her previous life in her dreams. She told NBC San Diego that she "feels a connection to the city of Perth." Those dreams, doctors say, are apparently "small pieces of information from her past slowly returning."
“I remember having breakky almost every morning at the organic restaurant across from the ocean in Cottelsoe Beach outside Perth, and dining for months at the restaurants in Byron Bay,” she told the Los Angeles Times.
Dr. Alan Lerner, director of the Brain Health and Memory Center at University Hospitals Case Medical Center, told ABC News that ovarian cancer has "been known in rare cases to cause memory loss or psychiatric problems."
Michael Rosen is a reporter for Fusion based out of Oakland.