A woman found by firefighters in Southern California on February 1 is turning to social media to help find her family. “Sam” — as she’s come to be known — suffers from amnesia, and cannot recall who she is, how she got to California, or any of the names of family and friends.
When Sam was originally found by emergency responders on the streets of Carlsbad, California, she was barely conscious, and, due to the amnesia, was unable to give the firefighters any information about who she was, or how she got there.
“I just feel like there’s a thick fog over my mind, my memory, over my brain that I can’t see through. I can’t remember anything. How I got here? I didn’t have anything on me, no jewellery, no purse, nothing.”
When the woman was taken to the hospital and checked out, doctors found a “volleyball” sized tumor on her ovary, which, doctors say, is a possible explanation for Sam’s 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.”
Dr. Alan Lerner, director of the Brain Health and Memory Center at University Hospital’s Case Medical Center told ABC News that in rare cases, it’s not unheard of for ovarian tumors to cause amnesia, memory loss, or psychiatric problems because of the proteins produced by the cancerous tumor.
“[Proteins] can bind to the cells in the brain in areas that are important in memory,” Dr. Lerner said.
Sam is described as having an Australian or British accent, is approximately 50-years-old, 5-foot-7, 200 pounds, with dyed blonde hair, brown eyes, and a chipped tooth. She is right-handed, and near-sighted, and when she was found, she was wearing a navy blue shirt, navy shorts, Sperry boat shoes, and a Burberry tie.
Due to her amnesia, the woman can’t remember anything about her life before being found in Carlsbad, though she has memories of Australia and Hawaii. She seeks the help of the internet to try and find family or friends. Hospital officials have set up a Facebook page for her — called “Found Woman With Amnesia-Help Her Find Her Family” — in the hopes that someone, somewhere, will recognize the mysterious woman, and help her find her family.
[Image Credit: Facebook]