American teen wakes up from coma speaking fluent Spanish
An American boy from Georgia, USA, surprised his family after he awoke from a coma and began to speak in fluent Spanish instead of his native tongue.
Sixteen-year-old Reuben Nsemoh was playing soccer for his school in Gwinnett County last month when he was accidentally kicked in the head by an opponent as he was diving for a loose ball.
As a result of the impact, the high school sophomore suffered concussion-related symptoms and fell into a coma for several days, according to a Huffington Post report.
Once he regained consciousness, Dorah Nsemoh, the boy’s mother, was shocked to hear his son unable to speak English and was only communicating using a foreign language.
Reuben, whose English has since returned, claimed that he knew a little Spanish because his friends and brother speak it fluently. Prior to his injury, he was never comfortable using it in conversations.
“I wasn’t perfect, but my brother is a really fluent Spanish speaker, so he kind of inspired me with that too,” he said in the report. After a few days of recovery, his knowledge of Spanish gradually slipped away.
Reuben’s predicament may sound extremely peculiar, but his case was “not that rare,” according to a neurolinguistics expert.
“For a number of complex reasons, such individuals may recover either both languages to the same extent, one better than the other, or only one of the two,” Dr. Michel Paradis, a neurolinguistics teacher at Montreal’s McGill University, was quoted as saying in the report. “These effects are either temporary or permanent―again depending on a number of factors.”
Despite the severity of Reuben’s accident, Paradis said the young lad would turn out fine.
“He is slowly regaining access to English, which is, especially at his age, a good sign,” Paradis added. “He probably still speaks about as much Spanish as he was able to before the accident.” Khristian Ibarrola/rga