During a soccer game on September 24, as 16-year old Rueben Nsemoh dove after a loose ball, another player accidentally kicked him in the head. Because of the incident, he suffered from a concussion and was brought to the hospital.
After the accident, he was treated in the Intensive Care Unit for days before he started stirring little by little. Thankfully, after three days, he woke up from the coma and his family were very thankful. Ever since he suffered a concussion in a soccer game, Rueben has been worried about why it’s so hard for him to concentrate. He’s fretted over whether he’ll ever get to play his favorite sport. But the biggest mystery of it all: how is it that he’s suddenly speaking fluent Spanish?
When he woke up, he was gesturing for food when he all of a sudden said, “Tengo hambre” which meant “I am hungry“.
Rueben’s family as well as the doctors, were all shocked and baffled when he started speaking fluent Spanish in full sentences – when he only knew a few Spanish word before he suffered from a coma!
Despite a consultation with a neurologist, doctors cannot explain how he could have woken up from that coma speaking a new or different language. But a Queensland Brain Institute neuroscientist thinks he might have an explanation about what happened to Reuben. Dr. Pankaj Sah said the brain was made up of different circuits—which assist in language, breathing, speaking and thinking—similar to electronic circuits.
According to him, what possibly happened to Reuben was that the parts of the brain that recalled English were damaged in the accident and those that retained Spanish were triggered when he woke up from his coma. Also, according to reports, there have also been previous reports and incidents that happened wherein patients acquired a new language or a different accent after experiencing a major trauma — and this is known and diagnosed as Foreign Accent Syndrome.