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Woman Who Couldn’t Speaks For Two Months, Now Speaks With Four Foreign Accents

Emil Egan was born and raised in Essex, United Kingdom and speaks no foreign language, but hearing her speak you could swear she is a Russian immigrant or tourist, because of her Eastern European accent. But the funny thing is that she sometimes sounds French, Italian or even Polish, depending on how tire she is.

31-year-old Emily’s life changed dramatically in January, when a mysterious condition left her unable to speak for two months. She had complained about headaches for two weeks before one day developing a deeper voice out of the blue. Her colleagues at a children’s home she was managing in Bournemouth then noticed that her speech had become slow and slurred, both indicators of a stroke. By the time she was rushed to the hospital Emily had lost her ability to speak completely, but after running some tests, doctors ruled out the strike, instead blaming her voice loss on some sort of brain injury.

After spending three weeks in the hospital, Emily Egan was still unable to speak and relied solely on basic sign language she had picked up at work and a text-to-speech app on her phone to communicate. Emily was discharged to a neurologist who encouraged her to go on a vacation in Thailand she and her partner Bradleigh had already booked, and to try and relax as much as possible. She did just that and a few days into the vacation, she started to speak again.

Photo: Geralt/Pixabay

“I’m an Essex girl normally – my accent was really strong and my voice was very high pitched and really recognisable, people always knew it was me calling,” Emily recently said, in a weird Russian accent. “On holiday, I started making sounds like a deaf person trying to talk – it is thought that the neuropathways had started to open as my body had completely relaxed. By the time I was home, the words were sounding like a foreign language.”

Emily was shocked when she originally noticed her Eastern European accents, but even more so when she noticed that sometimes her accent would change out of the blue, to Polish, Italian and even French. Although she doesn’t know the reason why this happens, she noticed that it has something to do with how tired she is. In march of 2020, she was officially diagnosed with a rare condition called Foreign Accent Syndrome.

 

“I was so thrilled when my voice started coming back but now I don’t even recognize the voice that comes out of my mouth, it doesn’t sound like me,” Egan told SWNS.

Ever since she got her diagnoses, Emily has been seeing a speech therapist, but she has yet to notice any change in her speech, and doctors say her accents are going to be with her for a long time, maybe even forever. Ever since her voice came back, she has has to deal with discrimination from people who think she is an immigrant, and has taken time off work because stress only makes her condition worse.

 

‘I’m only 31 years old and I am shocked at how much my life has changed in a matter of months,” Emily said. “The hardest thing for me is learning that this voice is ok. I have to learn to accept that it’s ok for me to not be able to get the words out straight away, it’ll come eventually.”

Emily’s case sounds shockingly similar to that of Michelle Myers, an Arizona woman who never traveled outside of the United States, but woke up to speaking in multiple accents – British, Irish and Australian – after experiencing severe headaches. She too was diagnosed with Foreign Accent Syndrome.

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