A Missouri man can consider himself lucky to be alive after he ruptured a neck artery and suffered three strokes because of turning his head too quickly during a game of pickleball.

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Joel Hentrich, a 35-year-old “super-fit” man from Festus, Missouri suffered the freak accident in November of last year.

He and some friends were playing a game of pickleball, a racket sport similar to tennis, when he quickly turned his head to one side to track a ball. He felt and heard a strong pop in the back of his head, and immediately started experiencing symptoms that he had never felt before. Little did he know that that quick neck turn had set in motion a series of injuries that would leave him fighting for his life.

Moments after that violent neck pop, Joel experienced the worst vertigo in his life, and a couple of minutes later, he was being helped to the bench by his friends, because he couldn’t walk on his own.

“The ground went out from underneath me, and I ended up with extreme nausea and I was projectile vomiting. There was tingling on the left side of my face, hand and part of my leg,” – Joel Hentrich

The 35-year-old was quickly driven to the local hospital, where he was initially put in the waiting room, with 50 – 60 other people. Luckily, Hentrich, who is a registered nurse, managed to explain his situation to a fellow nurse who immediately activated the protocol for suspected stroke victims. Minutes later, he was taken for a CT scan and then an MRI.

Doctors informed Joel that he had somehow dissected his artery, which had triggered three strokes in his lower cerebellum, the part of the brain responsible for coordination and movement. The news shocked obviously shocked the patient, who, as an active, healthy man in his mid-30s, wasn’t expecting to hear such a verdict.

“Had that second nurse not taken me seriously and left me out there to wait, I have no doubt that I’d at minimum have permanent disabilities of some sort, balance and coordination wise,”- Joel

Luckily, after two days in the hospital, Joel Hentrich was able to walk out on his own two feet, without any worrying symptoms. He has since made a full recovery and considers himself extremely lucky for it. It’s unclear what caused the artery rupture, as he says he had turned his head millions of times before, but he does recall feeling a sensation like a pinched nerve in his neck a week before the incident.

Well this a sigh to stretch before any physical activity.


(Source: Oddity Central)