Angie Yen, an Asian origin woman living in Brisbane, Australia, underwent a tonsils surgery on April 19, which was a simple procedure of around 30 minutes. Some 10 days later, she got the shock of her life after she woke up to find her accent sounding completely foreign and new.
The 27-year-old woman, who is a dentist by profession, got in the shower and began singing as usual which she always does and was shocked by the sound she heard. Her normal Australian accent disappeared and was replaced with an unknown one.
A panic-stricken Angie phoned her best friend telling him about her accent change and both of them were equally amazed at what had just happened. Angie stated she realized her accent sounded very Irish and was nowhere close to her previous normal accent. ''When I started singing I was singing in a different sound and also talking words in a funny accent,'' the Brisbane woman told news.com.au.
After browsing the internet for possible causes of her new accent, Angie read an article that cited a sudden change of voice in a person is also a symptom of an upcoming stroke. Fearing she might be paralyzed for life by a stroke, the woman rushed to the hospital and was kept under observation. Since Angie showed no signs of illness and her health was normal, the doctors discharged her asking her to go home and rest.
Unable to comprehend the changes in her tone, her best friend came to her rescue by sending her links of 'Foreign Accent Syndrome' (FAS) claiming her accent change is caused due to her tonsils surgery.
"He was the one who actually told me and sent me links later about foreign accent syndrome (FAS), he had watched some videos on YouTube years ago," she said.
After she realized she had FAS, Angie took to her TikTok handle and came a video about her ordeal saying people should not treat FAS as a joke and helped spread awareness about the issue.
''I hope by using this platform to spread awareness that hopefully one day people know if you wake up with a foreign accent or a weird-sounding accent that you go straight to a hospital, there's something wrong in your brain that needs to be looked at and it's not just something funny that you laugh about,'' she said in the video.
She revealed her ENT specialist has addressed her problem and has advised her to get an MRI and blood test and is booked in to see a neurologist on his advice and take treatment for FAS.
What Is Foreign Accent Syndrome?
Professor Lyndsey Nickels, a speech therapist and language impairment specialist at Sydney's Macquarie University explained, ''Foreign accent syndrome is when someone suddenly develops what is perceived to be a foreign accent. This is despite the person having never necessarily having spoken that particular foreign language, never necessarily having spent time abroad, nor having mixed with people with that foreign accent.''
She revealed that cases of FAS are rare but has occurred to people from around the world for various different reasons. He stated that not all FAS cases lead to a stroke and the problem is not blood clots in the brain but vocal chords being tampered. ''In turn this means that the speech sounds change,'' she said.
Treatment for FAS is available from speech therapists and pathologists and regularly following their advice can cure the accent change over time.