A 23-year-old paramedic, who routinely stretched her neck, shared her heartbreaking story after she gave herself a stroke just from a neck crack.
Natalie Kunicki told the Mirror she was in her bed watching a film after a night of drinking when she cracked her joint and heard a loud “crack.”
“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.”
The London paramedic didn’t think too much about the incident until she collapsed to the floor 15 minutes later and couldn’t move her left leg.
Hours later on March 5, the young woman was rushed to the hospital by ambulance, where a CT scan confirmed she had suffered a life-changing stroke. Kunicki told the outlet:
“People need to know that even if you’re young something this simple can cause a stroke. I wasn’t even trying to crack my neck. I just moved and it happened.”
“I’m a paramedic and I didn’t ring 999 for 10 minutes because I thought it was too unlikely it would be a stroke when I should have known much better.”
The young woman was told a major artery in her neck (a vertebral artery) had burst, causing a blood clot to form in her brain, which triggered a stroke.
Watch the video below:
Kunicki said she’s still shocked by the news and warned others about the dangers of cracking joints and doing any chiropractic activities. She said:
“I don’t smoke, I don’t really drink, I don’t have any family history of strokes so it’s quite strange it happened to me when I was just moving in bed.
I was in shock for about three days in ICU.”
Kunicki is in recovery and slowly gaining back her mobility. She said:
“Every minute more of your brain cells are dying so don’t ever discount a stroke just because someone is young.”
According to one study, strokes are increasing among young people. Factors like tobacco use, hypertension, lipid disorders, diabetes, and obesity are contributing to rising stroke hospitalization rates.
Kunicki’s family continues to support her during her rehabilitation. They set up an online fundraising page to help with her expenses.