EXTRAORDINARY ABILITIES AFTER HEAD TRAUMADate: 2018-09-25
This story is about a young man named Jason Padgett, a victim of a beating by a couple of individuals where he was kicked and punched in the head outside a karaoke bar in Tacoma, Washington, that resulted in a concussion and a bleeding kidney.
Upon regaining consciousness the next day at the hospital, Padgett’s sight was forever altered by a condition called acquired savant syndrome. The brain trauma opened his eyes to an entirely new world – one filled with patterns and strobes, like a stop-motion film.
'Acquired' savant syndrome went unknown until 2004 when it was recognised as a condition in which someone with either significant mental disabilities or sudden brain trauma obtain certain abilities far in excess of the average person. The skills at which savants excel are generally related to memory. This may include rapid calculation, artistic ability, map making, or musical ability. Usually, just one special skill is present.
Some of the most striking examples of acquired savant syndrome occur when a person switches their leanings entirely, from science to art, for instance. As with this former doctor, Sandy Allen, whose taste had always been science, utilising the left side of the brain, believed to govern logical processes. So inclined, she enrolled at medical school at the age of 40.
However, within three years, Allen received life-changing news: there was a malignant tumour in her left temporal lobe that required surgery. This was not a degenerative disorder, but, in operating, doctors were forced to remove part of the left side of her brain. It was as if, as Allen described the situation, “it turned on the right side of my brain.” Allen suddenly found herself prolifically creating collages and surrounding herself with self-created furnishings, and it’s interesting to note that both her mother and sister are talented artists. Allen’s case appears to be a key example of the brain’s capacity to unlock previously hidden talents.
See below the video of Jason Padgett life-changing story: