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Englishman suffers stroke and wakes up speaking only Welsh

An Englishman who suffered a stroke has baffled doctors after he woke up speaking fluent Welsh.

Stunned Alun Morgan, 81, was evacuated to Wales during the Second World War but left 70 years ago.

During his time there he was surrounded by Welsh speakers but never learned the language himself.

He left the country aged 10 and lived his life in England and recently suffered a severe stroke.

But when Alun regained consciousness three weeks later stunned doctors discovered he was speaking Welsh - and could not remember any English.

It is thought that the Welsh Alun heard as a boy had sunk in without him knowing - and was unlocked by the massive stroke.

Retired Alun, who lives with wife Yvonne in Bathwick, Somerset, is now being taught to speak English again.

Alun Morgan, from Bath, who had a stroke and when he woke up he could only speak Welsh (Picture: SWNS)


He said: "I'd not lived in Wales since I was evacuated there during the war. Gradually the English words came back, but it wasn't easy.''

Mr Morgan had been watching the lunchtime news when his wife noticed he was not responsive and called an ambulance.

He was rushed into hospital where he spent three weeks being stabilised and assessed.

Doctors have diagnosed Alun with aphasia, a form of brain damage which causes a shift in the brain's language centre.

He has been helped by the Communication Support Service, run by the Stroke Association in Bath.

Mr Morgan said: ''Meeting lots of people at the service and sharing experiences with people who understand aphasia has made a huge difference.

''I’m not worried about their reaction or scared that the words just won’t come out when I try to speak. This means I can enjoy life a lot more.''

In 2012 grandmother Kay Russell, 49, of Bishop Cleeve in Gloucestershire, suffered a migraine and began speaking in a French accent.

Sarah Colwill, 35, of Plymouth, Devon, also suffered a migraine and began speaking with a Chinese accent.

Doctors say they suffered Foreign Accent Syndrome, a condition which damages the part of the brain that controls speech and word formation.

More than 150,000 people have a stroke every year in the UK, and a third end up with aphasia as a result.

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