Nov 01, 2022

Elderly woman survives stroke after seagull steals her chips

Elderly woman survives stroke after seagull steals her chips

An 84-year-old Scottish woman has made a complete recovery from a shock stroke after a hungry seagull swooped on her fish and chips during a holiday in the United Kingdom.

Helen Corns was enjoying her hot lunch with family in the northeast coastal town of Bridlington when the gull swooped and knocked the fish and chips out of her hands during a theft attempt.

Ms Corns, slightly startled, was more than happy to go back to the chip shop for a replacement lunch when she started displaying stroke symptoms.

Her face dropped, her speech slurred, and her entire left side became weak. However, Ms Corns had no idea this was happening, thinking she just felt a little tired.

“I didn’t even realise anything was wrong until they [my family] got me in a chair,” Ms Corns told HullLive.

“I heard someone say they were calling for an ambulance and I remember thinking ‘What for?’ 

“I don’t remember arriving at the hospital but I remember them taking me upstairs and telling me what they were going to do.

It was a whirlwind day for Ms Corns as interventional radiologists – specialists who utilise medical imaging guidance – from the Hull Royal Infirmary performed a modern procedure called mechanical thrombectomy to restore her brain function.

Using the guidance of a continuous x-ray technique known as fluoroscopy, they were able to accurately guide instruments through Ms Corns’ arteries to the location of her blood clot. 

Her blood clot was non-invasively removed.

The mechanical thrombectomy was so successful that Ms Corns was on the phone with the rest of her family post-op, and back enjoying her holiday one day later.

“If I’d been taken to another hospital that didn’t do this procedure, maybe I wouldn’t have made it,” she said.

“But they were absolutely wonderful and I know how lucky I am.”

Ms Corns said her family could not believe she had just experienced a stroke as she spoke to them perfectly over the phone from her hospital bed.

Ms Corns team of doctors at the Hull Royal Infirmary

Leading Doctor Hamed Nejadhamzeeigilani was incredibly happy with the quick recovery.

“We are glad to see her improvement following the thrombectomy procedure and pleased to hear that she was able to continue with her holiday,” Dr Nejadhamzeeigilani said.

She has not experienced any lasting neurological damage.

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  1. What a wonderful story. I can relate to the poor woman’s shock when the seagulls attacked – British seagulls are huge and vicious. They will operate in squadrons and attack with great precision. Despite the harm they do to people the vicious creatures are protected!


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