Terror — and generosity — for couple after wife, 27, suffers stroke mistaken for migraine – Newfoundland & Labrador

Nathanael White fought through tears on his way to the hospital this week, terrified his wife would die before he was able to reach her side.

On Monday night, 27-year-old Carly White was airlifted from Gander and sent to St. John’s, where doctors determined she’d had a stroke.

“Driving in from central all the way to St. John’s in the middle of the night, alone, thinking of being so young and alone,” White trailed off. “It was a complete shock.”

Carly White lays in a St. John’s hospital bed while her husband, Nathanael, looks through memories of better times. (Submitted by Nathanael White)

The couple moved to central Newfoundland from Ontario six years ago, when White took a job as a paramedic in Carmanville. He got a second job at Tim Hortons, while his wife went to work at Mary Browns.

They didn’t have much — but they were happy to have each other, White said.

“We lived in a 30-foot house trailer for two years before we bought a house,” White said. “We spent two months without hydro and six months without running water, so we really roughed it for a life in Newfoundland.

“We built our bond. We could really go through anything together.”

‘A complete shock’

This week, that bond was put to the ultimate test.

‘It came as a complete surprise … It was a complete shock.’
– Nathanael White

On Sunday, Carly began complaining of a migraine. Her symptoms worsened and she began vomiting. On Monday morning, while her husband went to work, she went to the hospital.

After not hearing from her all day, White started to worry. In the afternoon, his phone rang.

Hospital staff told him Carly’s condition had worsened and she needed to be airlifted to St. John’s.

“It came as a complete surprise … It was a complete shock.”

Carly and Nathanael White were married on May 21, 2016. A little more than a year later, Carly suffered a stroke. (Submitted by Nathanael White)

By the time White made it to his wife’s side, she was sedated. Watching his wife lie unconscious and intubated in a hospital bed, he thought back to their wedding day — just 15 months ago.

“All of her bridesmaids got sunburns,” he said. “It was gorgeous, hot and sunny.”

Outpouring of generosity amid uncertainty

Still fresh in the honeymoon stage, they are now facing a nightmare.

Carly is now expected to live. She is showing great progression since the stroke, White said, but she does have weakness in her left side, meaning lingering…

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