I had my tonsils out & I woke up speaking with an IRISH accent – I’ve never been to Ireland & I can’t get my voice back

A WOMAN who had her tonsils out says she woke up from surgery speaking with an Irish accent – but has never even been there.

Angie Yen, 29, somehow swapped out her Australian twang during the routine procedure in April last year.

The dentist was ten days into her recovery from the tonsillectomy when she realised that her voice sounded drastically different.

She had been singing in the shower and noticed that her usual tone was completely distorted.

Angie – who was born in Taiwan and moved Down Under aged eight – said she felt like she was "waking up in someone else's body".

After sharing her concerns with pals, the 29-year-old rushed to an emergency doctor – but says she was cruelly fobbed off.


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She told 7news: "I was dismissed, laughed at, mocked but got no answers as to why I sounded like this. It was so crazy and bizarre."

Angie was advised to call an ear nose and throat specialist due to her recent tonsil removal, where she was then informed she may be suffering from foreign accent syndrome.

The bizarre brain condition, usually triggered by a head injury, stroke or surgery, causes patients to develop strange speech patterns that resemble exotic accents.

And over a year on from her diagnosis, Angie says her accent still "hasn't completely reverted back" to her Aussie one.

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Despite never visiting Ireland and having no immediate family in the nation over 10,000 miles away, she has adopted a strong Northern Irish accent.

She explained: "I had no idea this could happen overnight to people.

"I still have a light American and Northern Irish lilt. It gets thicker when I’m stressed, tired or run down.

"I still sound different and some days with a thicker accent."

The 29-year-old admitted she still occasionally struggles to pronounce words at work, leaving her "embarrassed" in front of her patients.

Angie added: "It’s bizarre as I never had speech issues despite English being my second language and I grew up here in Australia."

I had no idea how sounding different could change someone’s life for the worst.

After overcoming her speech issues, she now faces the "long-term challenge of accepting her new accent, voice and identity."

The dentist, who lives in Brisbane, is on a mission to raise more awareness of the extremely rare condition.

There are only around 150 people across the globe who have been affected by the condition since the first known case in 1907.

Angie enjoys sharing anecdotes regarding her unbelievable story on TikTok, and has been overwhelmed with support by social media users.

She continued: "I had no idea how sounding different could change someone’s life for the worst.

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"It’s a poorly documented condition with no cure.

"After going viral, I had people from all over the world reach out to me saying how they were glad they finally found another person who has this isolating and rare condition and they felt validated."

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