Texas woman wakes up from surgery with British accent

A woman in Texas claims she suddenly developed a British accent after undergoing a routine jaw surgery to correct an overbite.

“People who don’t know me, they’re like, ‘Hey, where are you from?’” Lisa Alamia told KHOU, a Houston, Texas television station.

But despite her accent, she grew up in Texas.

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    According to a press release from Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital, Alamia has been diagnosed with Foreign Accent Syndrome – a rare neurological disorder that has impacted fewer than 100 people worldwide since it was first described in 1907.

    READ MORE: Foreign accent syndrome – Can you suddenly develop a foreign accent?

    Alamia started speaking with a British accent right after her surgery in December 2015, according to the release. She underwent a complete neurological exam, including a MRI scan, and all tests came back normal.

    To her neurologist, Toby Yaltho, it’s a mystery.

    He told CTV News that he was initially suspicious of the woman, thinking she was maybe making it up. “If you talk to her, I’ll call her just to get an update on how she’s doing, she picks up the phone, she still talks like that. So this is definitely something that she’s not making up.”

    WATCH: A Texas woman who underwent jaw surgery claims she woke up to discover she had a British accent, part of what her doctors are calling an extremely rare case of foreign accent syndrome.

    But he has no idea what’s causing the accent.

    “I don’t think it can be explained. I looked back, talked to the doctors, tried to figure out if there was something that happened, tried to figure out if something happened during surgery. As far as we could tell it was not a complicated surgery. There was no injury or otherwise.”

    In the press release, Yaltho called Alamia’s condition a “fascinating and very rare case.”

    He is working with Alamia to reduce the accent through speech therapy.

    “I’ve learned that not everything in life has an answer,” said Alamia in the press release, “but the accent doesn’t define who I am. I’m still the same person I was before surgery; I just talk differently.”

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