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Australian Woman Gets A Migraine And Ends Up With A Thick Irish Accent

Imagine a headache so bad that when it's over you've completely changed accents. Sounds like the stuff of a straight-to-DVD comedy movie, doesn't it? Well incredibly, this is what happened to an Australian woman, whose migraine left her with a thick Irish accent.

Kate Baggs, 30, from Melbourne, Australia suffers hemiplegic migraines, an extreme type that causes symptoms similar to the ones caused by a stroke, including paralysis on the left side, inability to talk or walk, and the strangest of all... foreign accent syndrome.

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The embroidery artist's most recent episode has left her with an Irish accent, which she's currently had for five days.

It began soon after a particularly brutal migraine. Kate explains: "I was at the shop buying a toothbrush and I started the sentence sounding like the Australian me and by the end of the sentence I realised something was odd.

"My godmother thought I was making a joke, mimicking something from a movie we were talking about.

"It's been Irish ever since and it doesn't show any signs of going away anytime soon.

"I had no control over it but I thought 'that sounds really funny.'

"It's constant, it's not an accent I've been exposed to, I don't have interactions with anyone with an Irish accent."

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Credit: Caters
Credit: Caters

The Aussie first had an episode in 2015, where she got a migraine so bad she had to learn how to talk again. But when she did, her accent had turned Canadian.

"The first time I had a stroke-like migraine, it took me two months to learn how to speak again and when I did speak, I had a Canadian accent," Kate explains.

"It only lasted a couple of months, it faded quite quickly and went back to my Australian accent.

"The most the doctors can understand is that the migraines are probably happening at the speech and language centre of my brain."

Credit: Caters
Credit: Caters

Kate has been through several MRIs and scans over the years, which have shown there is no damage on her brain. Currently, she is taking preventive medication to stop the episodes.

Although they all find it hilarious, Kate says she has the support of her family, including her husband of 10 years, David.

"Because I was on holiday for the first weeks my husband had only heard me over the phone so when I did actually see him in person he said 'wow it's really thick'," she says.

"He likes to do different accents so every now and then he is trying to copy me.

"The first time my sister heard me she burst out laughing for five minutes and couldn't believe it was me.

"It appears like I'm having a stroke, I can't move my left side of the body, lift my arm or talk."

Credit: Caters
Credit: Caters

Kate adds: "I could be speaking like me literally in the next second, but it could last for years.

"I'm always waiting to see what I'm going to sound like.

"I had a friend who called me up and hung up because she thought it wasn't me.

"Even with people that I've known for years, the first twenty minutes of meeting them, I have to explain what happened.

Despite her uncanny accent, Kate says she has never visited Ireland, and has lived in Australia her whole life.

"Going to Ireland has always been a dream of mine- hopefully it will be my next trip and I'll be able to sound like a local, " she says.

If we could pick any accent to switch to, it'd probably be Irish. Hold on to it for as long as you can, Kate...

Featured Image Credit: Caters

Topics: Life, Life News

Ciara Sheppard

Ciara is a freelance journalist working for Pretty 52. After graduating from the University of Sussex, Ciara worked as a writer at GLAMOUR Magazine and later as the Assistant Editor of Yahoo Style UK.

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