Man With Amnesia Lost 46 Years in Workplace Slip

"It was determined that I have no blood flow going to the right temporal lobe of my brain," said Bolzan. "Which is where all my long-term memory is stored."

Bolzan's neurologist declined an interview with ABC News. But Dr. Ron Korn, the radiologist who conducted the scan, showed us inside his patient's brain.

"We're looking at a brain blood flow study called a SPECT scan," Korn explained. The scan is a type of nuclear imaging test that produces 3-D images, which are color-coded to show blood flow.

"If you look at Scott's image ... you can see that there is bloodflow to the back part of the brain," said Korn. "But [you also see] dramatic reduction in bloodflow to the front part of his brain, both on the left side and the right side, compared to a normal person. ... It really shows a dramatic loss of blood flow to the front part of his brain."

Bolzan's primary physician, Dr. Teresa Lanier, said the SPECT scan shows he has a severe case of retrograde amnesia.

"He meets all the criteria, it's very well established," Lanier said. "It would basically have to be a miracle for him to one day wake up and have complete and intact memory of everything he has lost. That's probably just never going to happen."

The diagnosis provided Bolzan with a better understanding of his predicament. "If my life was a key board, someone pressed the delete button, and all my memory is gone -- it's like a real bad computer crash."

Man With Amnesia Starts From Scratch

That was when Joan Bolzan realized she had to start from scratch, and help her husband relearn the story of his life.

"Because I have no concept of who I am as a person, I don't know you know, what my dreams, my aspirations, what my goals were," said Scott.

Sifting through boxes of photos and old videos, Bolzan has learned a lot about the man he was before the accident: a college football star from Chicago turned professional NFL offensive guard for the Patriots and the Browns.

Bolzan was a pilot, who ran a successful private jet management company, before his accident. Joan brought him to an airplane hangar hoping it would jog his memory, but it didn't.

He says that kind of thing doesn't bother him much. "You don't miss what you don't know," he said.

But what does bother Bolzan is that he doesn't remember any of his relationships. His wife has become the gatekeeper of their marital memories.

"The day that he lost his memories; I lost my memories with my husband, sharing them," Joan said. "It's definitely been a death of our marriage, our lives together. It's really hard."

Life Filled with Wonder

In a lot of ways, Bolzan's every day is filled with a child-like wonder tempered by an adult's intelligence and articulation.

This fall he experienced his "first" Halloween.

"I'm finding it very, very odd that people would dress up the way they do," he said, observing trick-or-treaters. He carved his "first" pumpkin and was surprised to find it filled with pulp and seeds. "I would've never guessed that's what it looked like inside," he said.

At Thanksgiving, he had his first bite of roasted turkey. Each season is one of exploration, every experience is new. From different animals to different trees, Bolzan is amazed by the variety of life.

  • 1
  • |
  • 2
  • |
  • 3
  • |
  • 4
Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like...