A crash victim who suffered a brain injury in a collision with a tractor stunned medics when he woke from a coma – only able to speak Malay.
Fraser Watt, 60, spent more than a month in intensive care after his car collided with the farm vehicle on a road between St Andrews and Dundee in 1983.
Medics rushed to save Mr Watt following the incident but the injuries he sustained resulted in him losing almost a quarter of his brain.
Mr Watt, who was 24 at the time of the crash, shocked doctors when he woke up speaking Malay – the language he spoke as a child.
Mr Watt lived in Borneo with his civil engineer father and spent a lot of time with the family’s cook, becoming fluent in Chinese and Malay by the age of five.
But family members were shocked when he woke up communicating in a language he had not spoken for almost 20 years.
He said: “Everyone was stunned when I spoke Malay – so was I because although I was fluent as a child I hadn’t spoken Malay for 19 years before the crash.
“My mum was at my bedside so she could translate for the doctors until the end of the day when my English returned.”
Mr Watt, from Edinburgh, said he still feels painful, migraine-like headaches on a daily basis, more than 30 years after the crash.
He revealed the surprising turn of events at the opening of a new base for brain injury charity the Edinburgh Headway group.
The charity aims to “empower and enrich the lives of adults who have survived an acquired brain injury”.