A Chinese woman who regained consciousness after suffering from a stroke found that she had lost her native Chinese and could only speak English— which she hadn’t used in over 30 years, Central European News reported.
Liu Jieyu, 94, stayed in the hospital in a coma-like state two weeks ago. Doctors diagnosed her with a cerebral infraction, a type of stroke where blood supply is limited rather than cut off by a blockage.
Doctors said her survival wasn’t guaranteed, so they were surprised when the woman uttered in English: “Where am I? What is happening?”
Jieyu’s family said she had not spoken the language since she had been an English teacher nearly three decades ago. She has spoken only Chinese since her retirement to southern China’s Hunan province, where she lives with her family.
“I can’t ever remember having a case like this before, but we anticipate [that] with proper rehabilitation and rest, she should regain the ability to speak Chinese,” 45-year-old medic Tao Hou, who treated Jieyu, told CEN. “We assume that the area dealing with her ability to speak Chinese has been damaged, but brain cells have an ability to repair themselves to a certain extent.”