Medical mystery: Texan wakes from surgery with British accent

HOUSTON -- Lisa Alamia was born and raised in Texas, but you wouldn't know it by her accent.

She went in for lower jaw surgery in December, and when she came out, she had a British accent. Her husband, Richard, noticed it right away.

"I said, 'Doctor is that normal for her voice?'" he said. "He said, 'Oh yeah. It will go away in a couple of days.'"

But it didn't go away, so Lisa went to see a neurologist.

"Very unusual," said Dr. Toby Yaltho of Houston Methodist Hospital Sugar Land. "I can't think of a reason the jaw surgery would cause it. I went back and looked at the operative report to see if there were any complications from surgery, but there weren't any."

After tests, Dr. Yaltho was able to determine Lisa had a rare neurological disorder where someone's voice can alter or change after a surgery or traumatic event.

"I'd read about it and heard about, but I never thought I'd see it," he said.

Lisa was nervous about coming forward, because she feared people wouldn't believe her.

"You're going to have your skeptics," she said.

With support from her friends and family, she's embracing her new accent. With the accent slowly decreasing, she hopes to have her old Texas accent back.
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