A Tacoma, Washington man who survived a brutal beating from muggers twelve years ago has gone on to become a mathematical genius thanks to his attack.
Jason Padgett, 41, was mugged outside of a Tacoma karaoke club one night over a decade ago. The attackers repeatedly kicked Padgett in the head, and in what doctors could only describe as a miracle, Padgett survived.
Now, Padgett’s life is completely different, especially when it comes to his everyday experience. According to reports, since the attack, Padgett now sees everything in complex, mathematical equations.
“I see bits and pieces of the Pythagorean theorem everywhere. Every single little curve, every single spiral, every tree is part of that equation,” said Padgett to ABC News. “I’m obsessed with numbers, geometry specifically. I literally dream about it. There’s not a moment that I can’t see it, and it just doesn’t turn off.”
Padgett can also reportedly produce a visual representation of Pi, the infinite number that starts out as 3.14. He is said to be the only one in recorded history that actually can do that successfully.
Experts say that while this case is extremely rare, it appears that the attack awakened something in Padgett’s brain and caused him to be what they call an “acquired savant.”
"Savant syndrome is the development of a particular skill, that can be mathematical, spatial, or autistic (sic), that develop to an extreme degree that sort of makes a person super human,” explained neuroscientist Peter Brogaard.
Padgett, who actually dropped out of college years ago and is currently working at a furniture store, says that his gift can sometimes be overwhelming.
"Sometimes I would really like to turn it off, and it won’t," said Padgett. "But the good far outweigh the bad. I would not give it up for anything."
Padgett hopes to one day quit his job at the furniture store and get into teaching.