Waking up from a 3-day coma and only speaking Spanish would’ve been normal if Reuben Nsemoh from Georgia had ever spoken Spanish before, but he hadn’t, and English was his first and only language. It’s been well documented that brain trauma can have bizarre and unexpected effects on speech, but this is still one of the more peculiar stories I’ve ever read about.
When Reuben Nsemoh woke up from a three-day coma in Georgia, he was speaking Spanish instead of English. He had never spoken the language before.
A player kicked the 16-year-old goalie in the head when he dived for the ball. And Reuben was having seizures before paramedics put him in a helicopter to rush him to the hospital.
His parents said it was his third concussion. Traumatic brain injuries can cause short and long term changes in language, according to TBI researchers with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Reuben said he has a lot of Spanish-speaking friends, who speak the language when he is around. He believes this might have had something to do with the strange episode that shocked and confused his parents.
Apparently, now that he’s almost fully recovered there are times when he slips back into speaking Spanish and says he has the feeling of not being there when he is.
This was his third concussion that led to this coma. I’ve had two concussions myself, and now I’m wondering if I get my third in the near future if I’ll wake up and miraculously be fluent en Español. Obviously, the chances are slim but I can’t help and wonder if now’s my time to go fall backwards down the stairs just to see…