A 26-year old South Wales rugby player, has recovered from a stroke claiming to be gay.

Chris Birch, a former bank employee and rugby player, weighing more than 120 kilograms, was attempting a back-flip in order to impress friends when he fell down a grass bank, breaking his neck and suffering a stroke.

Upon recovery, he claims: “I was gay when I woke up and I still am.

“ It sounds strange but when I came round I immediately felt different. I wasn’t interested in women any more. I was definitely gay. I had never been attracted to a man before – I’d never even had any gay friends. But I didn’t care about who I was before, I had to be true to my feelings”.

Prior to the accident, Birch had been a flanker with a local amateur reserve rugby team, was engaged to be married, and spent his spare time drinking with friends and watching sport.

Following his recovery, Birch said he was unhappy in his work and had no interest in playing or watching sport. He lost more than 50 kilograms, bleached his hair, retrained as a hairdresser, and is now in a relationship with a male.

Birch sought advice from a neurologist who informed him that a stroke can either close off or open up different areas of the brain.

Stroke Association spokesman Joe Korner says: “Whether or not the stroke turned Chris gay or whether he was gay anyway but unaware of it, his experience seems to be a positive one, which is great”.

Strokes have been known to transform people, giving them skills, like Alan Brown, who awoke with ability to paint and draw despite no previous evidence of the skill.

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