A 28-year-old man from Oklahoma suffered from a serious stroke after cracking his neck, but his doctor says he is still lucky to be alive.

Neck Cracking Caused Serious Stroke

The incident happened on March 14. Josh Hader had a sore neck, so he attempted to stretch it out.

Unfortunately, he accidentally popped it and realized that the left side of his body started to get numb. He tried to go to the kitchen to get an ice pack but he could not walk straight.

He was brought to the ER, where he was administered tissue plasminogen activator, or TPA, to break up the clot. He had numbness, double vision, and weakness.

It turned out he had a serious stroke caused by cracking the neck. He had to be moved to a larger hospital and had to be in the intensive care unit for four days before he was sent to inpatient therapy.

Lucky To Be Alive

Despite the incident, Hader is still a lucky man. Vance McCollom, from the Mercy Hospital, who treated Hader said that the stroke could have been worse. Hader accidentally tore his arteries that go to the bone of the neck, where the neck is connected to the skull at the base of the brain. His artery was compromised because of the tear causing a stroke.

After rehab, Hader is now able to function independently. He had to wear an eye patch for several weeks because the injured nerve caused weakness to one of the muscles that go to his eye.

He also experienced an odd side effect: hiccups, which he said sometimes make it impossible for him to breathe. McCollom said that the hiccups happened since the stroke occurred at the base of the brain.

Hader can now walk without a walker or cane, albeit he gets tired much faster than before and his balance is a little off. He is nonetheless optimistic that his condition will improve.

"My left side tingles a little and feels heavier than it used to. I also don't have as much control of that side as I used to. My right side doesn't feel sharp pain or hot/cold," Hader said. "I'm good emotionally. Like I said before, it's still a struggle walking long distances, but it's getting much better."

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