Having kids can definitely lead to more than a few headaches, and it’s no wonder that mother-of-seven Michelle Myers has occasionally gone to bed with a pounding cranium.
No, the strange thing is what has happened to her when she has woken up.
Over the past seven years, Myers has experienced three bouts of debilitating headaches — and has arisen the next day with different accents each time.
Her first incident left her speaking with an Irish inflection.
The second pitched her voice in an Australian lilt. But her third bout of headaches caused her to permanently sound as though she’d been born and raised in England.
American Woman Sleeps With Headache And Wakes Up With English Accent: Meet Michelle Myers pic.twitter.com/o4IzLrtN6q
— Mohcine Filali (@mohcine_filali) February 13, 2018
“Everybody only sees or hears Mary Poppins,” Myers told KTNV. The great irony is that this resident of Buckeye, Arizona, has never even left the country.
Doctors have managed to nail down what’s going on with Myers, although it took a little doing. “They send in the psychiatrist at the hospital and make sure you’re not a loon,” she said wryly.
Rather than being crazy, Myers suffers from something called Foreign Accent Syndrome, an incredibly rare disorder. Only 60 cases have been documented since its discovery in 1907.
Brain injuries such as strokes or cranial injuries most typically lead to FAS.
In 1941, Norwegian neurologist G.H. Monrad-Krohn discovered a woman who had developed the disorder when struck in the head by flying shrapnel and ended up sounding German — a distinct disadvantage during World War II!
Other signs of FAS include placing too much stress on words with multiple syllables, distorting vowels, and slipping the sound “uh” into words.
Treatment typically involves using ordinary accent-reduction protocols with a speech-language pathologist, but it doesn’t always work.
It was “really difficult to begin with,” Myers told The Sun. “People would think it was a joke, saying things like, ‘You sound like a Spice Girl.’
“It was hard, because I was really struggling. I have come to terms with the fact I might sound like this forever.”
Still, Myers hasn’t given up hope.
Even if she never regains her original speech patters, she said that she will continue to find comfort in listening to the happy chatter of her seven children — especially when they begin to sing.
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