"I had a stroke and woke up with a Welsh accent"

Debbie Ballard

Debbie Ballard

First published in News by , Crime reporter

A woman suffered a stroke - and woke up in hospital speaking with a Welsh accent.

Debbie Ballard, 53, came round with her south coast accent replaced with a voice from the Valleys.

She suffered a stroke and developed Foreign Accent Syndrome (FAS) – which causes the victim to lose their normal tone of speech.

Mrs Ballard, of Langney, Eastbourne, said: “I got a bit embarrassed about it at first but everybody who has heard me said they think it's sweet.

“I spoke to the doctor about it and he said as long as I’m not in pain everything should be alright.

“I must admit when I was talking I was looking in the mirror and talking to myself, I was trying to work it out and was getting a bit upset.

“I can see the funny side of it all now.

“It’s the strangest thing. I’ve never even been to Wales, or Scotland or Liverpool, yet people keep telling me that I sound just like them.

“There are certain words I can’t say at all. 'Cat' always comes out as 'cot' now, which is a bit annoying, because I’ve got pet cats.

“The doctor just kept asking me to talk because he was fascinated.

“He said I definitely have Foreign Accent Syndrome, and that sometimes it goes away, other times it doesn’t.

“I hope it does, it was devastating at first. I have to admit I had a cry. And then it got funny for a while, but now it’s starting to get old again. My husband joked that he married me because I was a Londoner, and if he wanted to marry a Welsh girl he would go and live there. I want it back to normal now.”

Senior healthcare assistant Mrs Ballard, mother to Ben, 23, and Richard, 26, has never lived in Wales.

Her husband Guy said: “Even though she doesn’t like the Welsh accent, it was quite surprising.

“But I still love her the way she is.”

Experts say FAS causes a 'drawing out' or 'clipping' of the vowels that mimics an accent even though the patient has limited exposure to that country.

FAS was first identified during the Second World War when a Norwegian woman was hit by shrapnel during an air raid. She suffered brain damage and developed a strong German accent, which led to her being ostracised by her community in 1941.

Comments (8)

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3:29pm Mon 21 Oct 13

KarenT says...

Heard of this sort of thing before, and seen people talking with "different accents" following strokes. They sound a bit like a different regional accent (French, German, Welsh), but they sound more like they have a speech impediment which can be likened to another accent.
Heard of this sort of thing before, and seen people talking with "different accents" following strokes. They sound a bit like a different regional accent (French, German, Welsh), but they sound more like they have a speech impediment which can be likened to another accent. KarenT
  • Score: 3

4:47pm Mon 21 Oct 13

1911A145 says...

That is nothing.
We went to bed and awoke with a MF&MFTCR disease.
(Malignant Fascist & Feral Terrorist Caliphate Regime)
headed by an alien Kenyan le curtsying bath house blo fairy queen barbie hussein ∅'blamer the ever innocent and never informed that is living with a sasquatch and a Porteguese water dog named Bo.
That is nothing. We went to bed and awoke with a MF&MFTCR disease. (Malignant Fascist & Feral Terrorist Caliphate Regime) headed by an alien Kenyan le curtsying bath house blo fairy queen barbie hussein ∅'blamer the ever innocent and never informed that is living with a sasquatch and a Porteguese water dog named Bo. 1911A145
  • Score: 17

6:11pm Mon 21 Oct 13

Herbert Perkins says...

No.
No. Herbert Perkins
  • Score: 0

12:07am Tue 22 Oct 13

PorkBoat says...

1911A145 wrote:
That is nothing.
We went to bed and awoke with a MF&MFTCR disease.
(Malignant Fascist & Feral Terrorist Caliphate Regime)
headed by an alien Kenyan le curtsying bath house blo fairy queen barbie hussein ∅'blamer the ever innocent and never informed that is living with a sasquatch and a Porteguese water dog named Bo.
I disagree.
[quote][p][bold]1911A145[/bold] wrote: That is nothing. We went to bed and awoke with a MF&MFTCR disease. (Malignant Fascist & Feral Terrorist Caliphate Regime) headed by an alien Kenyan le curtsying bath house blo fairy queen barbie hussein ∅'blamer the ever innocent and never informed that is living with a sasquatch and a Porteguese water dog named Bo.[/p][/quote]I disagree. PorkBoat
  • Score: 0

12:58pm Tue 22 Oct 13

yesthenwithers says...

1911A145 wrote:
That is nothing.
We went to bed and awoke with a MF&MFTCR disease.
(Malignant Fascist & Feral Terrorist Caliphate Regime)
headed by an alien Kenyan le curtsying bath house blo fairy queen barbie hussein ∅'blamer the ever innocent and never informed that is living with a sasquatch and a Porteguese water dog named Bo.
were you that sign language interpreter that just got sacked from the BBC? if so, yet another cracking job!
[quote][p][bold]1911A145[/bold] wrote: That is nothing. We went to bed and awoke with a MF&MFTCR disease. (Malignant Fascist & Feral Terrorist Caliphate Regime) headed by an alien Kenyan le curtsying bath house blo fairy queen barbie hussein ∅'blamer the ever innocent and never informed that is living with a sasquatch and a Porteguese water dog named Bo.[/p][/quote]were you that sign language interpreter that just got sacked from the BBC? if so, yet another cracking job! yesthenwithers
  • Score: 0

3:16pm Tue 22 Oct 13

Notters_Seagull says...

Crikey boyos.
Crikey boyos. Notters_Seagull
  • Score: 0

5:33pm Wed 23 Oct 13

martnin says...

1911A145 wrote:
That is nothing.
We went to bed and awoke with a MF&MFTCR disease.
(Malignant Fascist & Feral Terrorist Caliphate Regime)
headed by an alien Kenyan le curtsying bath house blo fairy queen barbie hussein ∅'blamer the ever innocent and never informed that is living with a sasquatch and a Porteguese water dog named Bo.
Anyone interpret please?
[quote][p][bold]1911A145[/bold] wrote: That is nothing. We went to bed and awoke with a MF&MFTCR disease. (Malignant Fascist & Feral Terrorist Caliphate Regime) headed by an alien Kenyan le curtsying bath house blo fairy queen barbie hussein ∅'blamer the ever innocent and never informed that is living with a sasquatch and a Porteguese water dog named Bo.[/p][/quote]Anyone interpret please? martnin
  • Score: 0

11:48pm Wed 23 Oct 13

PorkBoat says...

martnin wrote:
1911A145 wrote:
That is nothing.
We went to bed and awoke with a MF&MFTCR disease.
(Malignant Fascist & Feral Terrorist Caliphate Regime)
headed by an alien Kenyan le curtsying bath house blo fairy queen barbie hussein ∅'blamer the ever innocent and never informed that is living with a sasquatch and a Porteguese water dog named Bo.
Anyone interpret please?
I think it's Welsh.
[quote][p][bold]martnin[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]1911A145[/bold] wrote: That is nothing. We went to bed and awoke with a MF&MFTCR disease. (Malignant Fascist & Feral Terrorist Caliphate Regime) headed by an alien Kenyan le curtsying bath house blo fairy queen barbie hussein ∅'blamer the ever innocent and never informed that is living with a sasquatch and a Porteguese water dog named Bo.[/p][/quote]Anyone interpret please?[/p][/quote]I think it's Welsh. PorkBoat
  • Score: 1

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