Last night, a Los Angeles news reporter suffered what may have been a stroke on live TV. Local CBS correspondent Serene Branson was about to describe the star-studded scene at the Grammys when something went dreadfully awry. Though it was Branson’s voice that gave out, her eyes are what that told the true story.
The resulting video footage has now gone viral and offers a modern day lesson similar to the one in The Boy Who Cried Wolf to a nation of grown-ups who are seemingly acting like children.
Branson started off the report normally enough, but just a few seconds into her report, she began mispronouncing words, and as she did so, her eyes told viewers that she could not control what was happening to her. They were wrought with fear and concern.
Yet many seemed to think it was just the latest humiliating video for us to toss around the interwebs. Yet another “lady falling in a fountain” this was not. Instead, it may well have been a lady suffering a stroke.
Serene Branson was examined by paramedics on scene immediately after her broadcast. Her vital signs were normal. She was not hospitalized. As a precautionary measure, a colleague gave her a ride home and she says that she is feeling fine this morning.
Still, according to an ABC News report, what happened last night should not be taken lightly. “[That's a] pretty scary clip,” Dr. Larry Goldstein, director of Duke Stroke Center in Durham, N.C, told ABC. “She appears to have an aphasia, [or] problem with expressive language, and right-sided facial weakness. Although this can be caused by other conditions, it is very concerning for stroke.”
Yet some of the comments left on YouTube made it obvious that people considered it far from a potentially life-altering situation, and instead a chance to bust out some sophomoric humor. Thankfully, those videos, as well the mean-spirited comments that accompanied them, have been pulled.
Regardless, the episode serves as an important reminder to think twice before designating someone the next great laughing stock. Serene Branson suffered a very scary episode last night. And regardless of what it ends up being diagnosed as, Branson deserves more respect than to be lumped into the category of the lady who fell into the fountain. But our society has cried Wolf so many times with videos depicting embarrassing moments that many of us seemed to busy to notice that this time, there really was a wolf.
Our thoughts go out to Branson and her family. Whatever happened to her, we wish her a speedy recovery.
Image: CBS 2 News