English woman who woke up six weeks ago with a strong Welsh accent despite never having been to Wales has appealed for medical help because she says ‘I think it’s stuck’
Joe Coles, from Lincolnshire, speaks with a Welsh accent due to a rare condition called Functional Neurological Disorder (FND), which affects motor control.
An English woman is pleading for help after suddenly developing a strong Welsh accent despite never being in the country.
Joe Coles, who lives in Lincolnshire, fears the distinctive accent is ‘stuck’ and won’t disappear after he started speaking with a Welsh lilt six weeks ago.
The pub worker, who originally developed a German accent before switching to Welsh, believes he has developed Foreign Accent Syndrome (FAS), a rare condition that changes the way people speak.
As ridiculous as it may seem, Ms Coles says she is unable to go to work and worries ‘something has gone wrong with my brain’.
He is seeking medical help to deal with the problem, which may be linked to a neurological condition that has left him in chronic pain.
Joe Coles woke up six weeks ago to find he had developed a Welsh accent despite never having been to the country
She is appealing for help to find a specialist or neurologist who can help her cope with the sudden change
The Lincolnshire native, who worked at The Raymond Mays pub in Bourne, was diagnosed with functional neurological disorder (FND) – something that affects motor control and speech – last year.
Studies have linked FND to foreign accent syndrome, but she is now looking for help and has appealed on social media for help finding a specialist or neurologist who can do it.
It comes after St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust failed to get a referral to a specialist.
Speaking to the BBC, he said: ‘There are a lot of FND patients but this accent syndrome… Something is clearly wrong in my brain, like something is clearly not right, because who on earth wakes up and speaks with a completely different accent?
‘So I want to work with someone [who] can help me and then we can help others.’
Before the latest development, Ms Coles – who posts videos on social media about how she copes with FND – spoke with a southern English accent.
In videos shared on her TikTok account @zoecoles1, she reveals how she deals with the condition that leaves her in chronic pain and sometimes even makes her lose the ability to talk and walk for periods of time.
But this latest development has left him even more frustrated, saying in a video: ‘I just got this accent and it won’t go away, I think it’s stuck. I just hoped it would be a blip and I’d get over it.’
He told the BBC: ‘A lot of people ask me, “Where are you from – Cardiff?” I think they need to explain what happened.
‘It’s not really known, it’s really rare, so people don’t believe it.’
Ms Coles added that she was willing to be the ‘guinea pig’ to get to the bottom of the reason for her accent change.
‘I want to work with someone who can help me and then we can help others. I want to help everyone who has this – I’m not the only one, but let’s start with me. I’ll be the guinea pig.’