A real man's man, Chris Birch of South Wales played rugby, worked at a bank and was engaged to his girlfriend. But that was then, and things are MUCH different now. Birch is now a hair stylist and lives with his boyfriend....

Chris was horsing around at rugby practice when he decided to show off his back-flip skills. However, his skills weren't quite as honed as he thought — and when he fell he broke his neck, resulting in a stroke. He was rushed to Royal Gwent hospital, where his girlfriend and family waited for news of his recovery; however, upon awakening from his coma, he realized some very unexpected news of his own. Birch explains:

“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… 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 19st skinhead to a 11st preened man. People I used to know barely recognized me and with my new look I became even more confident.”

Could it be that he was actually gay before the accident and this tramatic incident just brought it out ? Or could the stroke really be the cause of a total personality change ?  Here's what science has to say about it.

“Strokes are traumatic, life-changing experiences, which can make you reassess life and your feelings so perhaps that’s the reason behind it,” explains Joe Korner of the UK’s Stroke Association. However, there is ample evidence that strokes and other brain injuries can dramatically change the way one acts and thinks. “Strokes can have a big effect on individuals and lead to personality changes,” Korner notes. “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.” Dr. Ira G. Rashbaum, professor of rehabilitation medicine and chief of stroke rehab at NYU Langone Medical Center, agrees that it’s quite common to see personality changes in patients following a stroke. He told CBS News.

So, basically they don't really know either ! We may not know how this happened but Chris says he's glad it did happen.

“I think I’m happier than ever, so I don’t regret the ­accident,” he told the Mirror. I don’t question ­myself ­any more and don’t care what people think, I’m just me… I’m happy with the way I am now… I wouldn't change a thing.”