Skiing accidents usually end bad. But it turns out that for an anonymous American woman, the clouds had a thick silver lining.
The woman, who preferred not to reveal her name, told that while on a family holiday, she miscalculated the angle of a slope and ended up crashing head-on into an obstacle. At the hospital, she was diagnosed with a broken collarbone, a dislocated shoulder and a moderate concussion.
Soon after the event, the woman noticed her memory was not quite the same as before.
It was like i could see, though not in a literal sense because I was still having issues with vertigo, as well as this weird disconnect between what I was seeing and what my brain was processing.
I could remember everywhere, like flicking through the pages of a book. Every place I had ever been, but specifically the buildings,” she told xojane.com
Her accident left her with a kind of spatial awareness that most architects would kill for. She even considered a career change.
Her case is certainly not the first. Her condition is known as savant syndrome, a term that was coined in 1887 by Dr. J. Langdon Down (of Down syndrome fame) and has perplexed the scientific world ever since. People who acquire the savant syndrome from head injuries aren’t many but their stories are amazing. Scientists estimate anywhere between 30 and 50 acquired savants might be alive today.
Another famous case is that of Derek Amato, a man who became famous after a pool accident gifted him with extraordinary musical abilities. Shortly after his accident, Derek found himself able to play the piano, an amazing feat, considering he had never practiced before.
The same thing happened to Tony Cicoria, an orthopedic surgeon from New York. After being struck by lightning, he became obsessed with classical music and taught himself how to play and compose music. A high school dropout who was brutally beaten by muggers became the only human able to draw fractals and even discovered a mistake hidden amid the digits of pi.
These cases prove the complexity and immensity of the human brain and the lesson here would be ‘watch what you bump your head into, or you might develop superhuman abilities.’