Although it would be nice to wake up speaking another language fluently, sudden changes in the brain can often come with unlikely side-effects. After a terrible car crash, Ben McMahon was stuck in a coma for a week before waking up and surprising doctors with something not typical of their patients. In the clip, he recalls how he saw an asian nurse standing by his bed immediately after waking and said to her 'Excuse me nurse, I feel really sore here' in Chinese.
He then asked the nurse for a piece of paper and pen and he wrote on it in Mandarin: "I love my mum, I love my dad, I will recover." The problem with this sudden fluency however is Ben required a few more days out of coma to remember English again. Apparently he isn't the only one who has experienced this mental miracle.
In 2010, a 13-year-old Croation girl woke up and replaced her native language with German. Last year, a U.S. navy veteran was also found unconscious in a motel room and had no recollection of who he was, but spoke fluently in Swedish.
A Queensland Brain Institute neuroscientist thinks an explanation is possible when considering how adaptable the human brain can be. Made up of different circuits, the brain assists with a variety of functions from speech, thinking and even breathing.
According to the researcher, Ben McMahon may have damaged a part of his brain that remembered English but retained his Mandarin functionality upon awakening from his coma. Somehow without English being focused on, Ben's brain may have "activated" and processed his mandarin speaking abilities more efficiently.