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After Suffering From A Head Injury, Nigerian Boy Wakes Up From Coma Speaking Spanish Fluently

16-year-old Georgia-based boy, Rueben Nsemoh, originally from Nigeria, shocked family members and doctors when he opened his eyes after a three-day coma and began speaking fluent Spanish for the first time in his life, despite having known only a few words before his accident.

Nsemoh suffered a life-threatening head injury last month while playing soccer game for an elite Gwinnett County national team when he dived for the ball and another player kicked him in the head, WSB-TV reports.

”It started flowing out. I felt like it was like second nature for me. I wasn’t speaking my English right, and every time I tried to speak it I would have a seizure.

It was weird. It was not scary at all. I actually liked it a lot. It was really unique to me,” the teen told TIME on Monday.

Rueben, an aspiring professional soccer player, suffered a severe concussion. He reportedly went into shock and had to be airlifted to a hospital where he spent several days in a coma, according to his mother, Dorah Nsemoh.


At the hospital, Rueben finally started stirring again. He began moving his hand and gesturing for food. And then he blurted out: ”Tengo hambre,” or ”I am hungry” in Spanish.

Doctors have not told his family why their son woke up speaking perfect Spanish, although they have sought consultation with a neurologist, but a similar case was diagnosed as foreign accent syndrome, a very rare condition in which people speak with a different accent, usually after head trauma or stroke, according to CNN.

Rueben says he could recite just a few phrases in Spanish before his accident. The only ways he had heard Spanish were from his brother, who had previously studied in Spain, and his Spanish-speaking teammates.

Weeks after the accident, Rueben gradually recovered the ability to speak English, and now he speaks both languages fluently, although he says the Spanish has begun to fade but he’s still unable to go to school and his family is devastated as it isn’t known how much damage has been done.

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“After Suffering From A Head Injury, Nigerian Boy Wakes Up From Coma Speaking Spanish Fluently”

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