Woman wakes up from surgery speaking with three different accents

After surgery, a woman began speaking in three different accents, including Russian.

Health Stories Surgery Accents
© MR. ROBOT / Esmail Corp / Universal Content Productions
Health Stories Surgery Accents

Her surgery went well, but she suffered from rare side effects. In the United States, a woman underwent spinal surgery under anaesthesia. When she woke up, she started to speak in a totally abnormal way, with accents from different regions and countries.

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A Russian, Ukrainian, and Australian accent

Abby Fender suffered from a herniated disc, a condition that can cause pain in the spine. A herniated disc is a known problem, the symptoms of which can be treated with painkillers. In case of complication, it can lead to paralysis, but it should be noted that the condition can be fixed through surgery.

Abby's surgery went smoothly, but when she woke up, she noticed something foreign about her speech. While she originally spoke with a Texan accent, now she had an accent that was sometimes Russian, sometimes Ukrainian, and sometimes Australian. She said:

Soon, I began to feel the pitch of my voice go very, very high and we called it the 'Russian Minnie Mouse voice' where I sounded like a cartoon character all the time.

Read more:Women wakes up with ‘holes in her eye’ after a windsurfing accident

Foreign Accent Syndrome

How to explain this strange phenomenon? To find out, Abby consulted many specialists, who were unable to give her an explanation. Eventually, she discovered that she had an extremely rare syndrome: Foreign Accent Syndrome. However, she said:

It’s been incredibly difficult to be given any diagnosis, but many medical professionals don’t believe Foreign Accent Syndrome is real.
I have been so disappointed, but I’ve gone through every test known to man, such as MRIs and CT scans, all to determine the cause of my speech dysfunction.

Foreign Accent Syndrome is apparently so rare it only affects around 100 people worldwide. According to Abby:

I believe something happened during the surgery that may have had a serious impact on the Broca portion of my brain, which controls the way we say different words and our general pitch when speaking, but we’ll never know.

This article has been translated from Gentside FR.

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Sources used:

Independent: 'I woke up with a Russian accent – doctors have no idea why’'

Foreign accent syndrome: This woman was left 'terrified' after waking up from a nap with a new accent Foreign accent syndrome: This woman was left 'terrified' after waking up from a nap with a new accent