Woman Partially Paralyzed After Cracking Neck

Woman Partially Paralyzed After Cracking Neck

Kaitlyn Rosa

Natalie Kuniciki, a paramedic, came home from work one day and decided to unwind. She was laying in bed, watching a movie, and decided to stretch out. It is reported that she heard a loud “crack.” She thought nothing of it at the time.

Kuniciki decided to turn off the television and head to bed. That did not last long, however. She was woken up a short 15 minutes after. She noticed that her left leg was numb and she could not move it. Kuniciki then attempted to get up to use the bathroom. In the process, she collapsed to the floor.

She admitted she was hesitant to call the paramedics. She did not want to call her crew knowing they could show up and find her “tipsy.” She then tried to go back to sleep. Shortly after, she realized she was not going to fall asleep. Kuniciki put her embarrassment aside and called her crew.

After calling herself an ambulance and they took her to the nearest hospital. The doctors ordered a CT scan. The scans confirmed that Kuniciki suffered a stroke. Medics reported that when she cracked her neck, her vertebral artery, a major artery in the spine, had burst. This then led to the formation of a blood clot in her brain and it triggered a stroke.

Her left side was almost completely paralyzed. She spent about a month in the hospital trying to regain strength and movement in her left arm, leg, and hand. “I was not even trying to crack my neck. I just moved and it happened,” she said. “I am a paramedic and I did not ring for 999 for 10 minutes because I thought it was too unlikely it would be a stroke when I should have known better. Every minute more of your brain cells are dying so do not ever discount a stroke just because someone is young.”

“I never would have guessed something as simple as cracking your neck, accidental or not, could land you in the hospital without full body movement. That is very scary but she also brought awareness to the fact that a stroke could happen to anyone. It could happen from the littlest of things and age does not matter when it comes to medical issues. Do not wait to get yourself checked out if you know something is off,” said Lakewood High School’s own senior Madison Pedley.