In Colorado Woman becomes a genius after suffering brain-injury

In 2009, Erceg, who was managing a ranch in Maybell, Colorado, fell into a ravine while feeding chickens and suffered catastrophic spine and brain injuries.

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play 47-year old Leigh Erceg (Good Morning America)
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The human body is a plethora of mystery and this was brought to the fore again after a mostly average woman became a genius of sorts after suffering a brain injury.

47-year old Leigh Erceg was a good ol' woman who worked on a ranch in remote northwestern Colorado. An athlete who loved NASCAR, Erceg had a degree in physical education and zero interest in maths or art, but all that changed after suffering a brain injury.

In 2009, Erceg, who was managing a ranch in Maybell, Colorado, fell into a ravine while feeding chickens and suffered catastrophic spine and brain injuries.

But rather than cause life-long damage, she became a gifted artist and poet, who enjoys spending time puzzling over mathematical equations.

play A sample of Erceg's drawing and equations (Good Morning America)

 

She can also “see” sounds and “hear” colors when she listens to music, although she is extremely sensitive to light.

She however doesn't remember anything from her previous life and doesn't even recognise her own mother and now relies on Amber Anastasio, her best friend since the fifth grade, to help her understand who she used to be.

In addition, Erceg who used to be an extrovert also lost her ability to feel emotion, which doctors describe as “flat effect.”

She has since learned to smile or chuckle as a response to social cues, but says she doesn’t feel or understand the reaction.

According to Good Morning America which carried the story, Erceg’s condition is so incredibly rare that it took numerous scientific studies and brain scans to diagnose her with what is called “savant syndrome", described as a vastly enhanced cognitive ability in an area such as art and math.

From being unsure that she would ever walk again, she now has a home now filled with mathematical equations and art, her interpretations of how she sees the world.

Providing a glimpse into her condition,  Dr. Brit Brogaard at the University of Miami whom Erceg went to for tests when he firt discovered her new skills,

“Most people, if you ask them to draw a house or a car, they will start with the outline of the car or house, and they will fill in the windows and door, and the wheels, when you ask Leigh to draw something, she will start with the details. She will start with the windows or the wheels – the details, and fill out that way. She is attending to details before she is attending to the whole"

 

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