'Piano Man' released from British hospital returnes to Germany

A mysterious patient at a British hospital who did not speak for months but played the piano has been discharged, health officials said Monday.

A spokesman for 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 spokesman refused to comment on a report in the Daily Mirror on Monday that the man - who remained silent after being found distressed and soaking wet on a beach in southern England on April 7 -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 spokesman said. "This includes any comment on his condition, current location or the circumstances in which he left the trust's care."

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

Health officials said the patient, who is tall and blond with a thin frame, is in his 20s or early 30s. All 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 AP reported Monday that the man has already 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.'

"We were stunned. He has been with us for months and we have got nowhere with him. We thought he was going to be with us forever," the source was quotedas as saying.

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