Daily Mail, 13th April, 2010
Croatian doctors are baffled after a teenage girl who fell into a mysterious coma woke up speaking fluent German.
The parents of the 13-year-old from the southern town of Knin said their daughter had only just started studying German at school and had been trying to read German books and watch German television - but had never been that good in German.
But since waking up the teenager has been unable to speak Croatian and even refused it, but communicates only in perfect German far superior to her mastery of the language she had when she was taken ill.
Split's KB Hospital director Dujomir Marasovic said they were still trying to find out what caused the mysterious coma and why the girl has apparently forgotten how to speak Croatian.
Marasovic added: 'You never know when recovering from such a trauma how the brain will react. Obviously we have some theories although at the moment we are limited in what we can say because we have to respect the privacy of the patient.'
He said the condition was so unusual that numerous doctors have examined the 13-year-old including German-speaking doctors to try and get to the bottom of the mystery.
Nurse Marika Lenovic, 28, said: 'The case has attracted a lot of interest, not just among the media but also among medical professionals.'
The girl is still being cared for at the hospital and is receiving regular visits from her family although there has reportedly been a large degree of frustration at the fact that they can no longer communicate with each other.
Hospital staff have even had to use an interpreter to translate the teenager's words to her family although apparently when they speak to her in Croatian she does understand - but she cannot respond in anything other than German.
Psychiatric expert dr Mijo Milas who has been involved in the case said: 'In earlier times this would have been referred to as a miracle, we prefer to think that there must be a logical explanation - its just that we haven't found it yet.
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'There are references to cases where people who have been seriously ill and perhaps in a coma have woken up being able to speak other languages - sometimes even the Biblical languages such as that spoken in old Babylon or Egypt - at the moment though any speculation would remain just that - speculation - so it's better to continue tests until we actually know something.'
The teenager was only in the coma for 24 hours, and it's thought it may have been prompted by extremely high body temperature.