Two of My Foreign Accent Syndrome Sisters

This morning I received word on my Facebook wall that the NBC Today show

Kay Russell and Sarah Colwill

had a story about Foreign Accent Syndrome on it. This reminded this acquaintance of me and he told me about the broadcast as well as sent a “God Bless You”. I love that! He remembers that I have had it since May 12, 2009 after a major migraine makes my midwest farmer’s daughter accent turn into Dutch/Swedish/German “Eastern European” sounding speech. I just praise God I can still sing regularly.

I regularly monitor the topic Foreign Accent Syndrome on the internet and web trying to get latest scientific news. That’s how I found out about Sarah Colwill last Spring. I reached out to her on FaceBook and am happy to have another FAS friend.

So I went to NBC Today online and there I found this video article about my British friend Sarah Colwill and Kay Russell who both have Foreign Accent Syndrome. We have been Facebook talking since Sarah came down with it also as a result of migraine back in the spring of this year.

It turns out that Kay Russell lives only about an hour away from Sarah so they got to meet each other with all the excitement that I had in meeting Fisher Fran last year. To find someone else who suffers from the same rare malady helps a person feel less alone. Even if there isn’t a cure. There is just something blessed about being able to share in the depth of understanding that comes from such a thing.

I am grateful to the NBC Today show for doing the story to help bring more awareness to the fact that Foreign Accent Syndrome does exist and that it does so greatly impact peoples lives. Yet, even when science doesn’t have the answers to the “why” or “what do we do about it” questions, people can carry on with hope. That’s a message that everyone needs to hear!

Well, here is the embedded link to watch the story, enjoy. FAS Women Bond on Today Show

And if you would be kind enough to comment to NBC for doing the story or here, it would be an encouragement.

Video Greeting from Eastside Ellen

Just a quick heavily accented video greeting for you… THANKS FOR VISITING MY SITE.

Video – Eastside Ellen Speaks About Life with Foreign Accent Syndrome.


I hope you will continue to pray for productive research in regard to striving to understand what causes Foreign Accent Syndrome and how it may be treated.A speech related Bible quote for you:  “Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.” —1 John 3:18/NIV


What can we do?

I see it happening again. I have a column on my Tweetdeck where I keep my ear out for people talking about Foreign Accent Syndrome. Since local doctors don’t have a protocol for how to help me, I am forced to do anything I can to help myself.

What I am seeing now is another wave of people learning of Foreign Accent Syndrome for the first time. It has been over sixteen months since my adventures into the world of a foreign sounding person started. I had so hoped that my speech would have returned as quickly and magically as it had changed. But No! I’m still having to think very hard when I speak to correct such things as “what you are looking for?” when I ask my husband what he is searching for. I make myself “fix” things, because I don’t won’t to have them get worse.

The word “people” still wants to come out “Pee-pools” and lately I’ve had a very difficult time saying “wolf”. The long “A” sound is always a tough one especially at the beginning of a word.  The word “yes-ter-day” was one of the very first words to give me repeated trouble in pronunciation as it sounds like I am slamming a stop in between each syllable…but I don’t seem to be able to smooth it out. Grr!  Then there’s probably one of the kid’s favorites… “Dar”….. as in “their dog” or “it’s over there” … only it comes out dahr.

Sorry for the side note of frustration, but as I see the Autumn leaves preparing for winter and hard times ahead, I am also in dread. My husband has been out of work from a job he had for 16 years and our income and benefits are drastically changing because of it. That means that I am even more likely to have to continue suffering on my own without any help to try and make things better.

You see it’s not just accented speech. It’s all the effort that goes into trying to correct the sounds and place the words in the proper order and put the stress and rhythm in the right place on TOP of the scrutiny I receive for sounding so profoundly different.

Here is  a link to a current article making the internet buz with comment on FAS

As I see these people commenting on articles that they’ve just seen about Foreign Accent Syndrome, some people are genuinely shocked or intrigued. However, there are so very many who comment cruelly on the misfortune of others, saying it’s fake or a ploy for attention, or they wish they could sound a certain way like that. Oh my!

I want so very much to connect with other scientists, sufferers, speech pathologists, but I am out of resources. I am relying on my writing, the internets reach, networking and the power of prayer to try to get something positive done before a long, cold, depressing winter sets in.

I invite you to look around on this website for other articles with the tag “fas”. In particular I posted one called “WHAT IT WAS VS. WHAT IT IS“.  Many of these posts have links In which you will hear for yourself what a profound change took place in my voice within two days time.

So the question remains; what can we do? I am one who would gladly subject myself to testing for the benefit of scientific understanding, but have no insurance, research or other monies to do so… even if a doctor or university jumped on the chance to study the phenomena. Being a formerly pre-medical and now freelance graphic artist communicator, I am a trained observer so I have tons of useful data, but what authority will gather and effectively use it for the greatest benefit?  What CAN we do?