Concussion Leaves Teen Speaking Fluid Spanish

By Ryan Velez

A potential tragedy has had a bizarre ending after a Georgia teen suffered a brutal concussion during a soccer game, reports The Grio. High school sophomore Reuben Nsemoh, 16, is a goalie on an elite traveling soccer team, but in a recent game, a small skirmish in front of the goal ended with Reuben being kicked in the head by another player.

In an interview with Nsemoh’s coach, Bruno Kalonji, for WSB-TV, he describes how the impact of the blow became very apparent nearly instantly. “I was in shock and panic,” Kalonji explained, adding that Nsemoh stopped breathing at several points after the hit. “He will start coming back, then he will throw up. It was a sequence of things I’ve never seen, it was bad.” By the time ambulances arrived, he appeared to be having seizures and would end up in a coma for three days.

While Nsemoh thankfully survived the scary incident, what is drawing attention took place after he woke up. Nsemoh was unable to speak any English, but spoke in Spanish completely fluently, which took his parents by surprise, as he had never done this before. Over the course of the following days, Nsemoh was eventually able to speak English once again, and his command of Spanish diminished. While it’s not entirely clear what took place, he suspects that he subconsciously remembered the language from hearing his brother and friends, who are fluent, speak it. This actually is not the first case of people recovering from head injuries with command of a different language. The exact nature of what leads to this, though, is unknown.

Nsemoh has actually suffered three concussions counting this latest incident, but at the moment, he only wants to get back on the field, still working on his ambitions of becoming a professional soccer player. However, after seeing the effects of this heavy hit firsthand, Kalonji is a bit ambivalent. At the moment, he says he will not allow Reuben to play unless  he is wearing protective headgear, something he would like all goalies to do.

At the moment, Nsemoh’s parents are struggling with medical costs, even though they are happy to have their son recovering at home. They are currently trying to raise money by using the GoFundMe crowdfunding platform.

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