Wednesday 28 September 2016

Amnesia sufferer locates family after huge support from the online community

Published 02/07/2015 | 11:27

A global plea for help was launched to help identify the woman and a Facebook page seeking help was launched to help her find connections.
A global plea for help was launched to help identify the woman and a Facebook page seeking help was launched to help her find connections.

A woman who was discovered in California five months ago with no recollection of her identity has connected with her nephew following a huge online campaign to locate her family.

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‘Sam’ was discovered by fire-fighters in California in February and the woman was diagnosed with amnesia as she had no recollection of her past or even her name.

Sam was also diagnosed with stage three ovarian cancer.

The woman spoke in a slight Australian accent and had vague recollections of spending time in Australia and Hawaii.

A global plea for help was launched to help identify the woman and a Facebook page seeking help was launched to help her find connections.

Sam was then added to Interpol’s Missing Persons data base which eventually helped connect her with her nephew, who spotted her on a television news report and identified her as Ashleyu Menatta (53) from Pennsylvania.

"It was extremely emotional. We were all sobbing. They're so sorry I had to go through what I did during this time without them," Ms Menatta told NBC 7 San Diego.

Following the identification, the authorities found that the woman had lived in Arizona and most recently in Carlsbad California where she was found. 

The woman’s doctors believe her amnesia was a result of antibodies from the cancer, which is currently being treated.

Before being identified Sam shared her vague memories with the campaign’s supporters.

"Both Australia and Hawaii are extremely familiar to me," Sam said.

"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 said.

"I just feel like there's a thick fog over my mind, my memory, over my brain that I can't see through," she told NBC 7 news.

"I can't remember anything. How I got here? I didn't have anything on me, no jewellery, no purse, nothing."

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