Image: The "Piano Man" as seen in this undated photo taken by Britain's Medway Maritime Hospital.
Michael Camp  /  Medway Maritime Hospital via AP
The "Piano Man" as seen in this undated photo taken by Britain's Medway Maritime Hospital.
updated 8/22/2005 8:15:38 AM ET 2005-08-22T12:15:38

A mysterious patient at a British hospital who did not speak to doctors and nurses for months but loved to play the piano has been discharged, health officials said Monday.

An official at the West Kent National Health Service and Social Care Trust in southeast England said the condition of the patient dubbed “Piano Man” had shown a marked improvement and he no longer needed medical treatment.

The man was found distressed and soaking wet on a beach in southern England on April 7, and had remained silent.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of hospital policy, refused to comment on a report in the Daily Mirror on Monday that the man finally spoke to staff last week, revealing he was from Germany and had come to Britain after losing his job in Paris.

“The rules regarding patient confidentiality mean that the trust is unable to make any further comment on this story,” the official said. “This includes any comment on his condition, current location or the circumstances in which he left the trust’s care.”

A Bavarian
German government officials, speaking on customary condition of anonymity, confirmed that the man is a 20-year-old from Bavaria, and had flown home to Germany on Saturday.

Social workers and staff from the National Missing Persons Helpline spent months trying to identify the man.

Health officials had said the patient, who is tall and blond with a thin frame, is in his 20s or early 30s. The labels had been cut out of his clothing.

A piano was installed in his room at the mental health unit in Dartford, south of London, and he regularly played for staff. When given writing materials, he drew detailed pictures of a grand piano.

The Daily Mirror reported Monday that the man has returned to Germany.

It quoted an unidentified insider at the Little Brook Hospital in Dartford as claiming: “A nurse went into his room last Friday and said: ’Are you going to speak to us today?’ He simply answered: ’Yes, I think I will.’"

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