Chinese woman, 94, wakes up from coma speaking English

There was relief when she awoke from her two-week medical induced coma.

But upon uttering her first words, something was different. Ms Liu Jieyu, 94, stunned medical personnel in Changsha, China, because she was unable to answer in Mandarin.

Her replies were spoken only in English. Ms Liu had been an English teacher but The Mirror reported that her family was adamant that she had not spoken English for more than 30 years. 

The questions continued, but Ms Liu was unable to speak a word in her native language.


The coma had been induced as Ms Liu had been diagnosed with a cerebral infarction - a type of stroke that limits blood supply to the brain.

Medics who tended to Ms Liu said that she spoke in fluent English when she awoke from her coma and said: "Where am I? What is happening?"

One of the baffled doctors treating Ms Liu said: "I can't ever remember having a case like this before but we anticipate that with proper rehabilitation that she should be able to regain her ability to speak (Mandarin)."

It is assumed that the infarction affected the area of the brain that controls language. It is hoped that Ms Liu's brain will repair itself and return her bilingual ability.

Waking to speak another language is not unique.

Ms Liu's condition is reminiscent of a Croatian teenager's in 2010 who was also in a coma.

ABC News reported that when the 13-year-old girl came out of her coma, she was fluent in German, a language that she had only just started studying in school.

She had lost all ability to speak her native Croatian.

More common is for people to find that they have changed accent

Source: Mirror UK, ABC News, Daily Mail