A 125kg rugby player suffered a stroke while training – and discovered when he woke up that he was gay.
Chris Birch, 26, had proposed to his girlfriend and worked in a bank when he suffered a freak accident in the gym.
The rugby-loving Welshman was trying to impress his friends with a back flip but broke his neck and suffered a stroke.
He was taken to the Royal Gwent hospital in Wales where his girlfriend and family waited for news on his condition.
His friends were stunned by the dramatic changes to his personality, especially his change in sexuality.
Chris said: ‘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.’
He worked in a bank and spent his weekends watching sport and drinking beer with his rugby friends.
But after the stroke he found he was no longer interested in sport and had little in common with his old friends.
He quit his job to become a hairdresser and started dating a man he met at a club night.
Chris, of Ystrad Mynach, south Wales, said: ‘Suddenly, I hated everything about my old life. I didn’t get on with my friends, I hated sport and found my job boring.
‘I started to take more pride in my appearance, bleached my hair and started working out.
‘I went from a 125kg skinhead to a 71kg preened man.
‘People I used to know barely recognised me and with my new look I became even more confident.’
He said his family struggled to come to terms with his sudden change of identity so he decided to move out of home.
Chris retrained as a hairdresser and now lives with his partner Jack Powell, 19, above the salon in which he works.
He sought advice from his neurologist who said the changes in his personality could be due to the stroke opening up a different part of his brain.
There have been cases of patients waking up with different accents and of others becoming artists following strokes.