( 4UMF NEWS ) Texas Woman Sounds British After Surgery:
Cheerio! A mother of three has been diagnosed with a rare neurological disorder which causes her to speak with a British accent.
Six months ago, jaw surgery to correct an overbite changed Lisa Alamia’s speech.
“They are always asking me how my mom got that accent,” Kylie Alamia said about her mom, Lisa.
Despite her accent, Alamia is 100% Texan.
“People who don’t know me, they’re like, ‘Hey, where are you from?'” Alamia said. “I’m from Rosenberg. They’re like, ‘Where is that?’ I’m like, ‘Right here in Rosenberg.’ ‘Oh, you’re from here? How do you talk like that?’ So that’s where the whole story comes up.”
Alamia’s oldest daughter, Kayla, said she thought her mother was joking around when she started speaking.
“But then she showed me that the doctor diagnosed her with foreign accent syndrome. Then I was like, ‘Oh, Lord.,” Kayla said.
A Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital doctor said less than 100 people worldwide in the last 100 years have gotten the syndrome.
“’Mum’ is probably the one word I notice right away,” Alamia said. “’Kitten’ (is another). They think I’m talking about a baby cat. I’m not. I’m saying, ‘I’m just kidding.’”
Alamia’s neurologist, Toby Yaltho, put her through a battery of tests trying to answer the how’s and why’s. So far, he can’t.
For months, Alamia tried to remain quiet while worried about skeptics.
“I didn’t know the reaction I was going to get from people,” she said. “So I didn’t know if they’re going to judge me. Are they going to think I’m lying or even understand how I’m speaking?”
Thanks to some ribbing from her family and friends, Alamia is more open than ever. Though her voice no longer intimidates her children.
“They’re like now there’s no way you sound ‘hood at all,” Alamia said. “Even if you tried, you wouldn’t be able to sound that way. My daughter laughs at the way I say ‘tamales.’ I used to be able to say it like a real Hispanic girl. Now, I cannot.”
One day, she hopes to regain her voice. Until then, she’s learning to savor her accent.
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