After inhaling carbon monoxide fumes, a bilingual Chinese office worker in Wuhan impaired her ability to speak her native tongue but can now speak English fluently, Shanghai Daily reports.
The woman, Chen Jia, a 28 year old graduate from Hubei province’s Jianghan University, inhaled carbon monoxide fumes at an indoor barbecue in Wuhan last year, leaving her unable to walk and unable to fluently communicate in her native Chinese tongue.
After receiving rehabilitation training, she can now walk again, but still cannot communicate effectively in Chinese. Rather, Chen’s rehabilitative training in teaching English to the medical staff at her hospital has greatly improved her English skills.
“Similar cases have been reported before,” Deng Hongwei, one of the hospital’s rehabilitation doctors, told reporters, “when bilingual patients suffer brain damage, they can lose the ability to speak one language but speak the other language very well.”
In a similar case, a 38 year old woman in the United Kingdom is still receiving rehabilitation treatment after suffering a migraine over three years ago that resulted in Foreign Accent Syndrome, causing her to speak with a (dubious) Chinese accent.