Arizona woman goes to bed with ‘pounding’ headache, wakes up with British accent
Hours after Michelle Myers went to bed with a “pounding” headache, the mother of seven woke up and realized something was wrong — the left side of her body was numb.
Myers was rushed to nearby West Valley Hospital in Goodyear, Ariz. Doctors said she was suffering from aphasia, loss of speech, typically caused by a brain injury or stroke.
“I went to say, ‘My name is Michelle,’ and it came out like, “Rabbit, fox…,” Myers told Fox News. “No one could understand me. I was like, ‘Is something wrong with my brain?'”
The 45-year-old was diagnosed with a speech disorder called Foreign Accent Syndrome (FAS). The condition is extremely rare, with only 60 cases reported since 1907, according to a 2011 study published in the peer-reviewed medical journal BMJ.
This happened back in May 2015, and Myers’ accent has been the same ever since.
“It’s physiological or can be triggered — psychological,” Myers explained. “Either one, it’s not controlled by the person.”
Doctors told Myers FAS was most likely a side effect caused by a hemiplegic migraine, a serious type of migraine headache with symptoms that are similar to a stroke.
“It’s actually quite dangerous,” Myers explained. “It looks just like a stroke, but it’s not a stroke. They don’t know how or what triggers it.”
Myers also suffers from Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS), a genetic connective tissue disorder, though experts said there’s no proof this contributed to the accent change.
This wasn’t the first time Myers’ noticed her accent change.