While paramedics are typically ones helping others in emergencies, 23-year old paramedic Natalie Kunicki found herself on the opposite end of the hospital bed, when she partially paralyzed herself while stretching her neck.
“I wasn’t even trying to crack my neck. I just moved and it happened. I stretched my neck and I could just hear this “crack, crack, crack. My friend asked “was that your neck?” but all my joints crack quite a bit so I didn’t think anything of it. I just laughed.”– Natalie Kunicki, Daily Mail
After about 15 minutes, she got up to use the restroom and collapsed with no feeling in her left leg, stating that her friend had to pick her up. She shared that she initially thought she may have been drugged after her night out.
“I’m a paramedic and I didn’t ring 999 for ten minutes because I thought it was too unlikely it would be a stroke when I should have known much better .”– Natalie Kunicki, Daily Mail
“The doctors told me later that just that stretching of my neck had caused my vertebral artery to rupture,” Kunicki shared. “It was just spontaneous, and there’s a one in a million chance of it happening.”– Natalie Kunicki, Daily Mail
The doctors were able to repair the ruptured artery with a stent but they were unable to clear the blood clot in her brain, although they believe it will dissolve in time.
‘”I was just completely shut off, trying to compute what had happened. People said I was a bit like a robot and didn’t show much emotion.”Natalie Kunicki, Daily Mail
“At theNatalie Kunicki, Daily Mail
startI couldn’t move my thumb and forefinger. 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.”
Since the incident, Kunicki is doing a lot better, having recovered movement and sensation in her limbs. She credits daily exercise
While doctors have not been able to say how long it will take for her to make a full recovery, Kunicki is determined to return to work for ‘light duty’ in six to twelve months. She’s also eager to help bring awareness to strokes in young people.
There is currently a GoFundMe page created for Kunicki to help with expenses due to loss of work since the incident. You can check it out here.
h/t Daily Mail