Well, this is something you don’t hear every day. Michelle Myers, from Buckeye, AZ, now speaks with an English accent — despite never stepping foot outside the United States. The former beauty queen went to bed one night while suffering from a headache, and by the next morning, she was speaking differently. Now, it’s been years and it hasn’t gone away.
Yet rather than picking up the accent while studying abroad or on vacation, the mother-of-seven suffers from a rare medical condition called Foreign Accent Syndrome. According to The University of Texas at Dallas, FAS is a speech disorder caused by brain damage that happens during a brain injury or a stroke. The damage may also be caused by multiple sclerosis or conversion disorder, a condition in which neurological symptoms can’t be explained through medical means.
As a child, Michelle’s bones used to hurt and she told ABC 15 that her medical records state she has Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. “When I was a little girl, I used to always go to my mom and say, ‘My bones hurt,'” she said. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, people with EDS might have soft and fragile skin and tend to bruise easily.
Surprisingly, this wasn’t the first time Michelle picked up a foreign accent; she’s also woken up with an Irish accent and an Australian accent, but those only lasted for a few weeks. The problem is people don’t take her condition seriously.
“I’m sad,” she said while watching an old video of herself before her accent change. “I feel like a different person. The person I am now has been through so much compared to this person.” She added, “Some people think it’s physiological; others think it’s psychological. People like me — we don’t care which one it is. We just really want to be taken seriously and if it is something that’s going to hurt me, help me.”