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Zoe Coles who developed Welsh accent overnight due to Foreign Accent Syndrome wants old voice back





An English woman who woke up with a Welsh accent despite never visiting the country says she wants her old voice back.

Zoe Coles, 36, developed the new accent overnight in June 2023, but thought it would eventually wear off.

However, nine months on it still hasn't and the mum-of-two is often asked if she's from Cardiff - when she actually lives in Stamford.

Zoe Coles, pictured here with fiance Lee, has never even been to Wales.
Zoe Coles, pictured here with fiance Lee, has never even been to Wales.

Zoe has also said that she's never been able to do a Welsh accent or roll her R's - until now.

She has said she gets 'anxious' when leaving the house as she feels like she 'doesn't fit in any more' because of her new voice.

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Nine months on, Zoe said she wants her old accent back and life to return to normal.

Zoe's Welsh accent started in June 2023.
Zoe's Welsh accent started in June 2023.

Zoe, a former bartender who used to work in Bourne, said: "I am struggling a lot, you are born with a voice, you grow up and develop a way of speaking. That has been taken away from me.

"Even though it has given me a confidence boost, I would love everything to go away and life to go back to normal.

"I would love my old accent back but there is a concern that my FND will get worse if it returns."

Zoe was diagnosed with Functional Neurological Disorder (FND), a condition where there is a problem with how the brain sends and receives signals in January 2022.

English woman Zoe Coles who woke up one day speaking with a Welsh accent.
English woman Zoe Coles who woke up one day speaking with a Welsh accent.

Because of this, Zoe often has ticks, memory problems, slurred speech and pain in her legs.

She said: "I was a full-time working mum, I could get up and clean the house in two hours, have a shower, get ready, go shopping, go to work and come home.

"Now I have to be assisted in the shower in case my legs go on me, I can't do the house work in two hours it is more like two days.

"I get so tired so quickly, I can do the shopping because I can hold the trolly but I can't do much more.

"It completely wipes me out."

Zoe developed the new accent overnight in June 2023, but thought it would eventually wear off.
Zoe developed the new accent overnight in June 2023, but thought it would eventually wear off.

Nine months ago she developed Foreign Accent Syndrome (FAS) - a rare condition where people develop speech patterns that are perceived as a foreign accent.

She said that when she has a bad FND flare her old accent will come back but her speech is stuttered and slurred.

Zoe said: "Some days I will go natural and I am fine. I have no idea why because it is so rare not much is known about it."

Zoe said she still gets "anxious" in public because she feels like she doesn't fit in anymore.

She said: "Part of me has learned to get on with it but I have come across a few Welsh people who asked me where I am from.

"That is really difficult, I don't want to lie and say I am from somewhere in Wales.

"I have no clue about Wales, I have never been."

Nine months on, Zoe said she would do anything to get her old accent back and life to return to normal.
Nine months on, Zoe said she would do anything to get her old accent back and life to return to normal.

Zoe has seen a neurologist and has been told there is nothing they can do.

She said: "I want to raise awareness and show that this is real life. I am speaking out because I want people to see that these things really do happen.

"This is a reality for me as much as I don't like it, I love the accent and I have adapted to it.

"However it still causes problems for me, I still get head pains and tingling in the face.

"It isn't just the accent, it is so hard for me."



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