Man has stroke and wakes up speaking Welsh
IMAGINE having a stroke. Unpleasant right? Imagine then, you wake from having had a stroke and finding out that you can’t speak your native language anymore and in fact, it has been replaced by Welsh. Great if you want to singalong with Super Furry Animals’ Mwng LP, but not so great if you want to speak to everyone you’ve ever known all your life.
Well, that’s what happened to Alun Morgan. He had a stroke and woke up Welsh.
Alun could never speak Welsh, despite being in Wales in WWII and surrounded by Welsh speakers. After suffering a stroke, he regained consciousness three weeks later and chatting away in fluent Welsh, remembering no English.
Doctors diagnosed Mr Morgan with aphasia, a form of brain damage which causes a shift in the brain’s language centre and, presumably, a lot of Welsh had sunk in when he was young, sitting dormant in his brain.
“I’d not lived in Wales since I was evacuated there during the war. Gradually the English words came back, but it wasn’t easy,” he said.
Oliver Sachs would love this, wouldn’t he?