Australian Woman Wakes Up With Irish Accent After Tonsil Surgery

An Australian woman was shocked and confused to wake up with an Irish accent after undergoing tonsil surgery. Angie McYen went under general anesthetic to get the surgery and when she came out of the operation, she suddenly realized her voice wasn’t quite her own. While she thought the change was temporarily, so far, or original Aussie accent hasn’t been restored. How strange!

  1. She’s been diagnosed with Foreign Accent Syndrome. There have only been 100 cases of this diagnosed since it was first discovered in 1907, and Angie happens to be one of them. It’s thought to be due to a brain injury of some sort but no one really understands why it happens and how it can be fixed (or if it can). “I woke up with an Irish accent the day before and thought I was gonna wake up from this weird dream,” she said in one of her videos on TikTok, where she’s been documenting her experience. “But no, my Aussie accent’s gone.”
  2. No, she’s never been to Ireland. This isn’t one of those Madonna situations where Angie’s just picked up a new accent because she’s spent a bit of time in another country. She’s actually never set foot in Ireland or had any inkling of an Irish accent prior to her surgery.
  3. She thought her Aussie accent was coming back but the opposite has happened. “I woke up this morning and I was speaking with my Aussie accent, and I called one of my friends and confirmed that my Aussie accent was back,” she said on day two following her operation. “But during the phone call, within five to 10 minutes, she could see the deterioration of my accent back to Irish. I don’t know what to do, this is something that’s very different. I’m not even trying, I’m completely freaked out. I thought it was going to go away when I woke up this morning.”
  4. She’s trying to seek medical help. Given that this condition can be sign of a brain injury, Angie has been trying to find help from a qualified specialist. “Yes, I know I need medical attention and to see doctors, but it’s a struggle to even find the right person to look into me and tell me what’s wrong and get me back to my old self,” she said in one of her clips. She’s reached out to several neurologists but is still looking for the right one for her case.
  5. Some people think Angie is faking it but she insists that’s not the case. In fact, she wants her old accent returned. “Unfortunately it’s not fake. I bloody damn hope that my Aussie accent is coming through, as it’s what I’ve had for the last 20 years,” she said. Fingers crossed she’s able to get her old voice back!
Jennifer Still is a writer and editor with more than 10 years of experience. The managing editor of Bolde, she has bylines in Vanity Fair, Business Insider, The New York Times, Glamour, Bon Appetit, and many more. You can follow her on Twitter @jenniferlstill