An English man woke up from a coma and realized that he can only speak Welsh. Alun Morgan, 81, spent three weeks in a coma after suffering a stroke. When he regained consciousness, he realized that he can now only speak in his “mother tongue.”
Morgan was evacuated from England to Wales during World War II, but has not spent time in the country since his youth. Fortunately for Alun, his wife is fluent in Welsh. Stroke Association representative Joe Korner, who is aiding the English man with his recovery, calls the condition a type of aphasia, according to MSN. The brain disorder is rare, according to The Independent.
During an interview from his home in Bath, Morgan had this to say, while speaking in Welsh:
“I was born in 1931 and when the war came I was sent down to Wales as an evacuee. It gave my wife the shock of her life when I started speaking Welsh. After the stroke it was hard going. I’ve managed to remember English but I’ve almost forgotten Welsh again. We were London Welsh and I learned a bit of Welsh when I was in London. Then, when I was evacuated to Wales during the war, we spoke it virtually all the time because my aunt didn’t speak much English, so I had to pick it up very quickly.”
Korner, who runs the Communication Support Service the 81-year-old patient is utilizing during his rehabilitation, noted that once a patient with language issues recovers the individual often speaks with a different accent. Korner had this to say about aphasia and stroke sufferers:
“Some say it is like having the word on the tip of your tongue; but with all words, all of the time. This is a pretty rare condition; we believe there may be around 250,000 sufferers in Britain, with only a handful of new cases each year. We believe the damaged brain finds new pathways, which unlock memories or knowledge that is latent but not expressed.”