Rory Curtis, a 22-year-old English youth had fascinated doctors and nurses when he started speaking fluent French upon waking up from a coma in 2012. He had studied the language only remotely while in school and had forgotten it as the years went by.
But he was speaking fluid French as soon as he opened his eyes post a horrific crash that left him with multiple injuries – a shattered hip, a multifocal intracranial haemorrhage, a broken elbow and a serious brain injury. He also imagined himself to be again 10 years old, having forgotten the last 12 years of his life. However, these notions lasted only for a short while as his mind did all the calculations slowly.
Curtis spoke to BBC on the unexplainable ability to speak French just for a while. He said that his father had done research into their family history to discover that their family actually originated from Normandy in the 1800s.
“If you look on YouTube and type my name in, there are a lot of conspiracy theories, thinking the brain can hold on to knowledge of generations. Crazy,” he added. His father began digging up the history after a native French speaking nurse, who was tending to Curtis, asked his father which part of France did they belong to. She was fully convinced with the patient’s language skills to consider him to be a native.
Curtis had also forgotten in those initial moments that he once was a key attraction in the Manchester United training camp. He was scouted by the English giants while he was only 13. But several injuries and illness in the upcoming years botched up his chances of taking the football career further.
“I kind of fell out of love with football,” he said.
Now he runs a salon in Worcester that he opened up in 2019.