A woman who was unable to walk or talk was victim of a stroke – caused by simply stretching her neck.
Helen Farrell, 32, has told how moving her head from side to side left her with “huge pain” in the back of her head, the Manchester Evening News reports.
Thinking nothing of it, she had a nap but woke up having lost her ability to speak or walk.
It turns out that the professional singer had suffered a stroke after tearing an artery.
The Blackpool native said: “I think the stroke happened when I was woken up by my partner the day after stretching.
“As soon as I woke up, this pain in my ear started – it was this loud, tingling, wooshing sound, like tinnitus. I tried to get up but I couldn't walk or talk and I was being violently sick.
“The doctors have now said that I had had a stroke which was from me tearing the main artery going into my brain when I stretched my neck.
“When I was on the ward after the stroke, I tried to sing and I realised I had no control or power or strength in my vocal chords.
“Now I'm back home and I want to get back to normal, the severity of it has hit. Singing is my way of living but I'm having to cancel all my jobs and that's after a year of no singing work because of lockdowns.
“I'm trying my best to stay positive – I'm still so grateful that I can walk and talk now because I couldn't even do that when the stroke first happened, but obviously, I do feel worried and sad that I can't sing.”
The stretch that Helen was using had been recommended to her by chiropractors after she had been suffering for years with a stiff neck.
Having woken up from her nap to find that her right arm was uncontrollably swaying everywhere and that she was being “violently sick for about three hours”, she was rushed to A&E.
Doctors told her that she had had a “bilateral vertebral artery dissection”, which triggered the stroke.
Since the incident occurred, she has been having therapy and can now walk and talk again – her singing voice has gone, which could occur a loss of around £7,000 until the end of February.
But Helen, who normally has four to six gigs a week, is not able to earn anything and doesn't know when she'll be able to sing again.
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