Woman from Lincolnshire's TikTok plea after 'waking up with Welsh accent'

  • Credit: TikTok/zoecoles1

A woman from Lincolnshire is appealing for medical help after she saying she woke up with a "Welsh-like" accent, despite never visiting the country.

Zoe Coles has a condition called Functional Neurological Disorder (FND). She was diagnosed in 2022 and now believes she is suffering with a condition called Foreign Accent Syndrome (FAS).

Posting on TikTok, Zoe said: "I've woken up Welsh six week ago", as she pleaded for a neurologist to try and help her.

"Right now I'm not sure when it's going to go, I don't know anything about it, but I'm raising awareness, I open my eyes, I open my mouth and I'm Welsh.

"Never in my life have I been able to do an accent."

Zoe in August 2022 when she was barely able to speak at all Credit: Zoe Coles / Tik Tok

Zoe has been keeping a video diary of her condition since she was diagnosed in August 2022 where she lost her voice and ability to walk.

The condition's symptoms often include loss of motor control, sensory symptoms and speech problems.

Since then, she said her symptoms have improved but last month her accent rapidly changed into what sounds something that resembles a Welsh twang.

Foreign Accent Syndrome is extremely rare but there have been cases noted in the British Medical Journal, and are often associated with neurological problems like Zoe's.

"Talking another language is exhausting, I'm struggling"

"I've just adapted to it, and I'm hoping to ask the doctor for an EEG to measure my brain activity to see what's going up there."

Zoe told her followers her condition can change from day-to-day, so much so her accent has also morphed into what others have described as close to Irish or 'Scouse.'

Sometimes her speech can become incredibly slow and slurry and in one video she described pain in her legs.

Now around six weeks with the new accent, Zoe said: "I hope it would just be a blip and I'd get over it, we've all forgotten what I usually sound like, what else can I do other than just get on with it?"

Zoe said she has been referred to specialist but has been warned it could take up to a year.

"I don't feel like I fit in anywhere, because everywhere I go and talk, people just look at me. I don't mind the accent, but other people make me feel awkward."

What is Functional Neurological Disorder?

The NHS states problems in the nervous system that aren't related to a specific neurological condition may be referred to as a functional neurological disorder.

Examples of FND symptoms include:

  • numbness or tingling in the hands or feet

  • weakness in the arms or legs

  • a tremor in 1 or both arms

  • blackouts