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Woman Develops Speech Disorder After Accident

A 47-year-old woman is coping with a rare speech disorder that not only changed how she speaks, but how she views herself.

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NASSAU, BAHAMAS – A 47-year-old woman is coping with a rare speech disorder that not only changed how she speaks, but how she views herself. Kristina Dragovich has her story tonight.

Denise Thurston will always remember December 19th, 2021 – the day her life, and her speech changed forever.

Thurston was involved in a car crash in December 2021. The vehicle was totaled and she lost consciousness. When she woke up, the Nassau-native discovered something was different.

Neurosurgeon Dr. Magnun Ekedede confirmed the diagnosis.

According to the letter issued by Dr. Magnus on January 28th 2022, a few days after Thurston’s accident, “her speech changed (intonation) from Bahamian to British, which is known as foreign accent syndrome.”

A month later, the Public Hospitals Authority confirmed Thurston’s final diagnosis was “road traffic accident with mild traumatic brain injury” with the medical chief of staff noting the contents of the report were accurate to the best of her knowledge and belief.

How drastic is the accident difference? Thurston shared a video taken some time before the accident.

Foreign Accent Syndrome was first reported in the 1940s and since then, about one-hundred cases have been diagnosed worldwide. Thurston says recovery has been a challenge, with some questioning if the accent is fake.

Now Thurston has been in Florida for three months for treatment and knows the road ahead will be long as her body works to heal. But she is using her experience as a testimony that anything can happen.

A souse out is being held on July 2nd to help Thurston with those medical and therapy expenses. Visit Our News Facebook page for more information.

Reporting for Our News, I’m Kristina Dragovich.

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