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Georgia Teen Wakes Up From Coma Speaking Fluent Spanish After Suffering a Concussion

¿Qué? A Georgia teen named Reuben Nsemoh awoke from a coma speaking fluent Spanish after suffering a near-fatal concussion during a soccer game.

According to WSB-TV, the high school sophomore, 16, was playing goalie for a Gwinnett County–based national team when a fellow player accidentally kicked him in the head, causing him to suffer his third-ever concussion.

Reuben Nsemoh
Reuben Nsemoh

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“I was in shock and panic,” Nsemoh’s coach, Bruno Kalonji, told the Atlanta news outlet on Wednesday, October 19, adding that the teen stopped breathing several times. “He’d come back and he’d start throwing up. It was a sequence of things I’d never seen before. You thought you might lose him. I thought I might lose him there.”

Nsemoh was immediately taken to Atlanta Medical Center, where he spent three days in a coma in the intensive-care unit. When the student athlete finally awoke, he spoke only in Spanish, a language his parents said he’d never spoken fluently prior to the accident.

Reuben Nsemoh
Reuben Nsemoh

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“My friends would always talk to me in Spanish and would teach me,” he told WSB Radio.

Eventually, Nsemoh’s Spanish became less fluent and he began speaking English again. “Sometimes I daze out. Sometimes I feel like I’m not there, but I am,” he explained to WSB-TV.

Despite the accident and the bizarre aftermath, Nsemoh says he’s ready to return to the soccer field. “It’s my passion. It’s the one thing I want to do for my career,” he told WSB Radio. “This can happen even at practice. And if kids already have two concussions or three, it’s recommended that they wear [a helmet].”

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In the meantime, the teenager’s parents, Dora and Emmanuel Nsemoh, and friends started a GoFundMe page to help with medical costs. The fundraiser has already amassed more than $9,600 of its $25,000 goal.

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