An unidentified woman in the US has told her unique story of how she was left with advanced mental capabilities after suffering from a head injury on the slopes.
Writing for xojane.com, the woman acquired savant syndrome following the accident, a rare condition which can leave people with advanced musical, artistic or mathematical talent.
Recounting her case, the woman said that she was left with an incredibly powerful memory and realised her capabilities soon after the incident which occurred on a ski holiday during her final year of university.
"About halfway down the hill, at a speed that was definitely too fast, on a hill that was turning icy quick, I caught an edge and went flying," she wrote.
Not considering herself to be seriously injured despite a blow to the head, the woman skied the rest of the day, but eventually visited a doctor as she had suffered a dislocated shoulder and broken collarbone.
She soon learned of her new-found abilities after experiencing a significant shift in her vision, perception and memory of events.
"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," she said. "I could remember everywhere, like flicking through the pages of a book. Every place I had ever been, but specifically the buildings."
Beneficial brain damage
After suffering from a complex migraine, the woman went back to hospital for further testing and her case made her "the most interesting thing the hospital's neurology department had seen in quite some time".
The woman now has an astonishing ability to remember and map physical layouts of rooms and buildings with precision, and she says she did not previously have any interest in building, architecture or interior design.
Following the accident, the woman has filled numerous pages with sketches of places from memory.
The woman has a degree in a discipline completely unrelated to art and architecture, and currently works a desk job, but is considering a career change.
"No lie though, I'm definitely, constantly mulling over the idea of quitting and going into drafting and design. At least I know I'd be good at it!" she said.