CNN reports that Reuben Nsemoh, a 16-year-old high school sophomore, ended up in the coma last month after another player kicked him in the head during a game.
When he woke up, he did something he’d never done before: speak Spanish like a native.
His parents said he could already speak some Spanish, but he was never fluent in it until his concussion.
Slowly, his English is coming back, and he’s starting to lose his Spanish fluency.
Foreign accent syndrome is an extremely rare condition in which brain injuries change a person’s speech patterns, giving them a different accent. The first known case was reported in 1941, when a Norwegian woman suffered shrapnel injuries to the brain during a German bombing run — and started speaking with a German accent.
Since then there have been a few dozen reported cases.
Three years ago, police found a Navy vet unconscious in a Southern California motel. When he woke up, he had no memory of his previous life, and spoke only Swedish.