Woman has British accent after medical procedure

Michelle

Michelle Myers has never left the United States, but she now has a British accent.

Three times in the past seven years, she has gone to sleep with blinding headaches only to wake up with a different accent. Now Myers speaks with a British accent. I try to explain that I am American and they say, 'Why, because you got your green card?' thinking I'm foreign, but have married a USA citizen. The condition is extremely rare, with only 60 cases reported since 1907, according to a 2011 study published in the peer-reviewed medical journal BMJ.

Myers says she has been diagnosed with foreign accent syndrome (FAS). It was a joke in my family that I'm awful at accents, so I think when they heard how good it was, they knew I wasn't kidding!

The mother of seven said she is coming to terms with the disorder and has accepted she will sound like this for the rest of her life.

That's disturbing enough on its own, but this isn't even the first time Myers has experienced a headache-prompted voice change. And though rare, cases of the speech disorder have since been documented around the world, according to the Center for Communication Disorders at the University of Texas at Dallas. "People like me - we don't care which one it is", she explained.

The 45-year-old said doctors diagnosed her with FAS, likely a side-effect from a hemiplegic migraine, which is similar to a stroke.

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She has been to the hospital more times than she can count and the stack of medical records she keeps in the house says she has Ehlers-Danlos syndrome.

She continued: "Sometimes, people can be quite hostile". The injury distorted the rhythm and melody of her speech, suggesting a foreign accent to those who heard her speak.

Myers' chief concern is that she be taken seriously by those in her life. It is usually linked to a stroke or neurological trauma or impairment.

"People would think it was a joke, saying things like, 'You sound like a Spice Girl, ' " she told the Sun, a British tabloid.

With such a rare disease, there aren't many resources dedicated to research. I feel like myself, it's just it comes out differently. It cleared itself up shortly thereafter, but a subsequent stroke sent her into a spiral of different accents that each last just weeks. She said she stays positive, but she wants people to take her seriously.

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