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Whilst training, 26-year-old Chris Birch suffered a stroke, and when he woke up he discovered he was gay.

The Welsh rugby player was previously straight and engaged, but after attempting to do a back flip and breaking his neck, he suffered a stroke.

Chris Birch said: “It sounds strange but when I came round I immediately felt different.  I wasn’t interested in women anymore.  I was definitely gay.”

Chris previously worked in a bank, but after the accident he retrained as a hairdresser and moved in with his 19-year-old partner, Jack Powell, above the salon where he works.

Chris Birch said: “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.”

His neurologist said changes in his personality could be due to the stroke opening up a different part of his brain.  It is not unknown for people to awake from strokes with different accents or personality changes.

Mr Birch says he is happier than ever now and does not regret the accident.

Joe Korner, a spokesman for the Stroke Association said: “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.”

“During recovery the brain makes new neural connections which can trigger things people weren’t aware of such as accent, language or perhaps a different sexuality.”

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