Woman suffers stroke after cracking neck while stretching

2019-04-18 14:56
Natalie suffered a stroke after cracking her neck. (PHOTO: Getty/Gallo Images)

Natalie suffered a stroke after cracking her neck. (PHOTO: Getty/Gallo Images)

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A 23-year-old paramedic was left paralysed after cracking her neck while stretching and accidentally rupturing a major artery.

Natalie Kunicki, who works for London Ambulance Service, was watching movies in bed with a friend after a fun night out when she stretched her neck and heard a loud cracking noise, Women’s Health reports.

At first, Natalie didn’t think much of the sound but when she got up 15 minutes later to use the bathroom, she collapsed and wasn’t able to move her leg.

"My friend had to come and pick me up," she said.

"He thought I was drunk but I knew something else was wrong.”

Natalie thought she might have been drugged and didn’t want to call an ambulance in case her colleagues thought she was “tipsy”, PEOPLE reports. 

The 23-year-old tried to fall asleep but eventually decided to call for help.

“The doctors told me later that just that stretching of my neck had caused my vertebral artery to rupture. It was just spontaneous and there’s a one-in-a-million chance of it happening,” she said.

Doctors told her the ruptured artery caused a blood clot which triggered a stroke, FOX 8 news reports.

Doctors were able to repair the artery but couldn’t clear the clot in her brain – they said it would dissolve over time.

“At the start, I couldn't move my thumb and forefinger," she said.

"I could kind of move my wrist up and down. I couldn't lift my arm. I could bend my left leg but I couldn't wiggle my toes.

Natalie had surgery to repair the artery and said she’s regaining some movement, but doctors aren’t certain if she’ll make a full recovery.

“People need to know that even if you're young something this simple can cause a stroke,” Natalie said. 

“I wasn't even trying to crack my neck. I just moved and it happened.”

Sources: Women’s Health, PEOPLE, FOX 8 news

Read more on:    stroke

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