Who Is Natalie Kunicki? New Details On The Paramedic Left Partially Paralyzed After Cracking Her Neck

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Who Is Natalie Kunicki? New Details On The Paramedic Left Partially Paralyzed After Cracking Her Neck

Cracking the neck is something all of us have done, at least once in our lives. Yet, when Natalie Kunicki did it, it forever changed her life.

Who is Natalie Kunicki?

Natalie Kunicki was just an ordinary 23-year-old woman living in London, doing the best she could as a paramedic for the London Ambulance Service.

Then, according to People, she went out with a friend one night in March. After they’d returned from their night out, they’d settled in to watch a movie. Kunicki began to stretch and, in so doing, did something that we’ve all done over the years: she cracked her neck.

But rather than provide her with pain relief, this move forever changed Kunicki’s life when it ruptured her artery and left her partially paralyzed.

This, clearly, was a freak accident — something that doesn’t normally happen, to be sure — but now it has us all wondering if, indeed, it could happen to us.

Let’s find out more about Natalie Kunicki and her injury.

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1. She initially didn’t think anything of the injury.

According to the Daily Mail, who first broke the story, Natalie Kunicki didn’t think anything of the injury to her neck. In fact, she didn’t realize that she’d ruptured her artery until she got up to go to the bathroom fifteen minutes later and found herself unable to properly move.

“I got up and tried to walk to the bathroom and I was swaying everywhere,” Kunicki told the Daily Mail. “I looked down and realized I wasn’t moving my left leg at all then I fell to the floor.”

That’s when Kunicki, and her friend, realized that there was a problem, and they rushed her to the hospital immediately.

2. She didn’t want the doctors to think she was “just drunk.”

Kunicki told the Daily Mail that when she got to the hospital, she was afraid to tell the doctors what had happened, because she didn’t want them to think that she was “just drunk,” and acting this way out of being in an inebriated state.

“I think they did look at me at first like they thought I was just a classic drunk 23-year-old but I told them I was a paramedic and I knew something was wrong,” she told the outlet.

3. It turned out she’d suffered a stroke.

Natalie Kunicki suffered a stroke after what she thought was a "normal night out."

The Daily Mail reports that the nurses immediately rushed Natalie Kunicki into the hospital, where she was diagnosed with a stroke. The nurses later told the outlet that Natalie was in such shock from the pain that she wanted the nurses to “simply kill her.”

Regardless of her shock, the doctors operated on her quickly and put a stent in her ruptured artery to repair it. However, they also discovered that she had a blood clot in her brain, which they were not able to remove. The doctors believe that the clot will dissolve on its own.

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4. The doctors don’t know when, or if, Natalie Kunicki will regain full recovery.

The Daily Mail reports that the doctors have told Natalie that they don’t know when, or even if, she will regain full mobility from the stroke. Needless to say, this has left her feeling very depressed.

“I don't smoke, I don't really drink, and 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 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,” she said, adding that she was hoping there would be a “miracle” in her case, but as of yet, there has yet to be one.

5. While this incident was a “freak” incident, strokes are a lot more common than you think.

The Natalie Kunicki incident was, literally, a one in a million type of incident. However, strokes are much more common, even in young people, than one would think.

According to the CDC, 34% of people hospitalized for stroke were less than 65 years old. Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death for Americans, but the risk of having a stroke varies with race and ethnicity. Every year, more than 795,000 people in the United States have a stroke. About 610,000 of these are first or new strokes, and statistically, someone has a stroke every 40 seconds.

Therefore, it’s important to know the warning signs of a stroke and get checked out immediately when you think you’re having one.

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Bernadette Giacomazzo is an editor, writer, and photographer whose work has appeared in People, Teen Vogue, Us Weekly, The Source, XXL, HipHopDX, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Post, and more. She is also the author of The Uprising series. Find her online at www.bernadettegiacomazzo.com and www.longlivetheuprising.com.