This story begins in August 1991 in the US state of Virginia. American singer-songwriter Pamela Reynolds Lowery was in the city of Virginia Beach promoting her new record when she suddenly forgot how to speak.
"I inexplicably forgot how to talk. I've got a big mouth. I never forget how to talk," she told NPR.
Soon after the incident, Pam visited a doctor and explained that she was suffering from dizziness, loss of speech and difficulty moving parts of her body. The doctor referred her to a neurologist who found a large aneurysm on her brain that was at risk of rupturing.
Because of the position of the aneurysm, the doctors predicted that if Pam had surgery, she wouldn't survive.
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As a last resort, Dr Robert F. Spetzler offered to perform a rare procedure known as hypothermic cardiac arrest on Pam, which was a more successful-looking option.
The surgery involved lowering her body temperature to 10 degrees, taping her eyes shut and placing small earplugs with speakers in her ears. These speakers would emit clicks that would check her brain function before the surgery went ahead.
While she was under, her breathing and heartbeat would stop while they drained the blood from her brain.
The procedure was a success, and they removed the aneurysm. Pam fully recovered.
But after the surgery, she was able to accurately recall the entire event.
Pam explained that once they began operating, she "popped up out the top" of her head.
"I was lying there on the gurney minding my own business, seriously unconscious when I started to hear a noise," Pam told Barbara Bradley Hagerty.
"It was a natural D, and as the sound continued — I don't know how to explain this, other than to go ahead and say it — I popped up out the top of my head."
Then, she explained that there were 20 surgeons in the operating theatre and described the shape of the saw they used to cut her head open.
"It was an odd-looking thing," she said. "It looked like the handle on my electric toothbrush."