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Diseases

23 year old paramedic suffers a stroke because she cracked her neck

Ever heard of young people suddenly getting a stroke?

Natalie Kunicki, a 23 year old paramedic suffered a stroke because she did something that most of us would do without thinking. She cracked her neck!

The girl was watching movies in bed with a friend after a night out on March 4 when she stretched her neck and heard a loud crack. 15 minutes later, on her way to the bathroom she collapsed and was unable to move her left leg.

By her own admission, she says, she refused to call for help out of embarresment of being labelled as drunk. Even though she was a Paramedic, she didn’t realise it was a stroke. 10 whole minutes later, she finally accepted something was wrong and phoned for help.

She was rushed to University College London Hospital where physicians confirmed she suffered a stroke and would need emergency surgery.

The doctors told her later that just that stretching her neck had caused her vertebral artery to rupture. It was just spontaneous and there’s a one in a million chance of it happening.”

The patient was transferred to the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, where, during a three-hour surgery, doctors discovered and fixed her burst artery.

Kunicki’s left side was initially rendered completely paralyzed by the stroke. Through physical therapy, she says she has been able to regain some use of her leg, arm and hand, although she describes her movements as “clumsy.”

She hopes that by speaking out about her condition, her story will spread awareness that young people can also suffer strokes and that symptoms should never be ignored.

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