A woman on vacation had a ski accident that resulted in a very rare condition known as acquired savant syndrome. This is when a person gains an extraordinary mental ability after falling. The woman developed the ability to recall, in exact detail, every location she had ever visited in her life.
In an article written for Jane XO, an anonymous writer discusses her life with acquired savant syndrome after a ski accident. The woman says that she was on a ski holiday with family when she hit an icy patch of snow going too fast. She hit her head and blacked out before waking back up to see her brother standing over her. The woman says that she initially did not seek medical care because she had a small headache, bumps, bruises, and what she thought was a dislocated shoulder that could be fixed rather simply. However, after two days, the woman finally made her way to the hospital where she was diagnosed with a moderate concussion, a dislocated shoulder, and a broken collarbone.
Over the next few weeks, the woman says that things began to get really weird. She says she began to remember “too much” and that her memory ability “wasn’t right.” After suffering from a complex migraine, the woman found herself back in the hospital, where doctors began questioning her about her new found memory abilities. The memories were not simple. In fact, the woman says that she could now recall in exact detail every single building or location that she had ever been in her entire life. The woman says she had acquired the ability to draw a diagram of every single building, no matter how big or how small, in great detail, even if she had only been to the building once in her life.
“Think of every building you have ever been in. From highway rest stops in states that you’ve only passed through, to the well-worn halls of you high school. Think of the large places, say the Louvre, where you’ve walked through once 10 years ago. Think of small places, maybe your friends-cousins-girlfriend’s trailer in the sticks where you went to pick up a six-pack of beer when you were in high school. Thousands of places, with thousands of rooms, branches and doorways. And now imagine if you had the ability to draw a diagram of every single one of those buildings, down to the smallest detail, no matter how long ago you had been through them, nor how many times.”
Doctors finally diagnosed the woman with acquired savant syndrome. This is a very rare syndrome, with only 50 cases ever recorded. With savant syndrome, a person develops a remarkable talent such as the ability of extraordinary memory. Though the woman has her new superpower, she says she still works an ordinary desk job. However, she is considering utilizing her new skills by seeking employment in drafting and design, because she says she knows she would be good at it.
What would you do if you hit your head and woke up with an extraordinary mental ability, like the woman with impeccable memory? Have you heard of acquired savant syndrome?
[Image Credit: Getty Images/ Pascal Le Segretain]