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South Pole Researcher Recovering From Stroke At Johns Hopkins

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Monique Griego joined the WJZ News Team in July 2011 as a General...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ)– Her rescue made international headlines. Now, the woman who suffered a stroke at the South Pole is speaking about her treatment right here in Baltimore.

Monique Griego was there as Renee-Nicole Douceur told her story at Johns Hopkins Hospital.

After waiting two months for treatment, she was very happy to finally be at Hopkins.

Still wearing her South Pole coveralls, Renee-Nicole Douceur was all smiles, knowing she was under the care of doctors at Johns Hopkins Hospital.

“I’ve had excellent care and it’s the best choice I could have done,” she said.

It’s hard to imagine. Just two weeks ago Douceur was isolated in Antarctica, recovering from a stroke with no medical care.

“I’m going to say I wasn’t scared at all,” she said.

Douceur didn’t start to worry until she learned bad weather at the station would keep help away for months. At the time, she had vision, speech and memory loss.

“I just did not stay there and wait. I just totally advocated for myself,” she said.

She sought out ways while down there to challenge her vision and get input from physicians.

Two months later, a plane would finally take her from Antarctica to New Zealand and San Francisco before arriving at Dulles on Monday. That night, she was just anxious to get to Hopkins.

“Everybody looks at me and says, ‘You look pretty well.’ But I need to know what’s going on in my brain,” she said.

Doctors at Johns Hopkins confirmed Douceur had a stroke, but say it’s hard to know if delayed treatment affected her recovery.

Douceur, who described herself as low-key and private, didn’t expect all this attention.

“Never had any intentions of this just kind of, like, exploding,” she said.

Despite her recovery, Douceur doesn’t believe the South Pole is in her future.

“As much as I loved the program, from a risk point of factors, that it’s probably best to move on,” she said.

Doctors say Douceur is expected to make a full recovery. Douceur will undergo a few more cognitive tests at Hopkins before being released in a few days.

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