The night of Friday 13 September 2002, Jason Padgett's life changed forever. A horrific night turned into a blessing. That night Padgett, just under 17 was attacked and robbed, in Tacoma, Washington. Padgett rushed to the hospital and was told that he had a concussion, a post-traumatic stress disorder and a bleeding kidney. Doctors gave him a pain killer and sent him home.
Once he got home, he immediately noticed something different. The former salesman claimed he had no interest in mathematics before after the incident Jason became obsessed with math and complex mathematical concepts. He told the BBC:
'I don’t know why I like perfect squares,' he says. 'It’s not just a perfect square, it’s two to the power of four or four squared but I just like perfect squares… I automatically do that stuff with everything.'
The brain damage had turned Padgett into a genius who now sees the world through the lenses of geometry. This phenomenon is called Acquired Savant Syndrome, the injury, while devastating, has unlocked parts of his brain that everything in his world appears as a mathematical structure.
According to Scientific American, an ordinary person who suffered a brain injury or other CNS (Central Nervous System) incident can reveal instantaneous music, art or mathematics giftedness and abilities and basically turn an average person into a genius. It is estimated that only 4% of the population can be affected by this condition.
Unfortunately, this amazing condition is accompanied by an obsessive-compulsive component, this downside to an otherwise beautiful gift is, according to Scientific American, evidence of someone losing their mind.
Daniel Tammet, a prodigious savant, is author of Born on a Blue Day.
'The line between profound talent and profound disability seems to be really a surprisingly thin one. Who knows there may be abilities hidden within everyone that can be tapped in some way.'