Teen wakes from coma speaking fluent Spanish after blow to head

GWINNET COUNTY, Ga. — A Georgia teen who nearly died after suffering a concussion during a soccer game awoke from a coma speaking only in Spanish, his parents told WSB Radio.

High school sophomore Reuben Nsemoh, 16, plays goalie for an elite, traveling soccer team. During a recent game, another player kicked him in the head during a skirmish in front of the goal.

“I was in shock and panic,” Nsemoh’s coach, Bruno Kalonji, told WSB-TV. Kalonji said Nsemoh stopped breathing several times after the blow. “He will start coming back, then he will throw up. It was a sequence of things I’ve never seen, it was bad.”

By the time the ambulance arrived, Nsemoh appeared to be having seizures. He ended up going into a coma for three days.

When he woke up, Nsemoh could no longer speak in English, but was able to speak in Spanish fluently, something he had never done before, his parents said. As the days progressed, his English words slowly returned and his Spanish became less fluent.

Nsemoh believes he may have subconsciously remembered the conversations his friends and brother, who speaks fluently, had while he was with them.

Nsemoh, who has now suffered three concussions, is recovering at home. With dreams of being a professional soccer player, he’s anxious to get back on the field.

After seeing the brutal concussion, however, Kalonji says he won’t allow it unless Nsemoh is wearing protective headgear, something he thinks all goalkeepers should wear.

Nsemoh’s parents are thankful to have their son back at home, but say they are struggling to deal with the growing cost of his medical care. The family is now trying to raise money via GoFundMe.