When he woke up in hospital he says he was quite a different man; now finding himself attracted to men.
“I was gay when I woke up and I still am. It sounds strange but when I came round I immediately felt different,” Birch told the Mail.
“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.”
Birch went on to break up with his fiancÃ©e, lose 50 kilograms and train as a hairdresser, his current profession. He now also lives with his 19-year-old boyfriend.
Commentators on The Daily Mail site have speculated that Birch used the accident as “an excuse” to come out.
Neurological experts say, however, that Birch’s experience could be due to his brain opening up new pathways or un-used parts of his brain in an attempt to adapt to the injuries from the stroke.
“Whether or not the stroke turned Chris gay, or whether he was gay anyway but unaware of it, his experience seems to be a positive one, which is great,” said Stroke Association spokesman Joe Korner.