We've heard some doozies over the years about what can happen to people's personalities when they've had a traumatic brain injury. There are those who wake up speaking another language. People who can suddenly play piano like Beethoven. There's the guy who turned gay. And now this. A 49-year-old Brazilian man reportedly had a stroke -- and he woke up afflicted with "pathological generosity." That's right, if you were anywhere near this man after he had his stroke, he'd apparently start handing you cash!
The stroke left the man with "excessive and persistent generosity," which his wife said manifested in her husband giving strangers money and buying kids on the street candy, soda, and junk food. I guess he didn't become Mr. Health Conscious.
He eventually became unable to handle his finances, and he refused to work because he said he had already worked enough and that "life is too short." He decided to live it up instead. YOLO indeed!
While this sounds like kind of a nice affliction to have -- I bet most of us feel a little guilty that we aren't more generous to others -- it apparently caused a lot of distress in his family. The reality is that if you're going to give away all of your earnings, then someone else is forced to step up to take care of you -- unless you're perfectly willing to be homeless, which most people aren't.
For most of us, this would be considered a very irresponsible person, and we'd probably get sick of rescuing him from his own messes and eventually cut ties with him. But this guy had a stroke, so his brain is messed up, so he has a good excuse. It would be tough to abandon this guy. I feel for his wife.
Doctors are now studying the man to try and determine in which part of the brain generosity and altruism originate. Now if only they can find it, maybe scientists can rejigger the brains of every multi-millionaire in the country! Ha!
What would you do if this happened to your relative?
Image via stephend9/Flickr