Doctors say that her condition was a direct result of 'neck manipulation.'
A woman from Georgia was paralyzed when four arteries were severed during a chiropractic session.
Caitlin Jensen, a recent Georgia Southern University graduate, went to a chiropractor on June 16 for an "adjustment to her neck," according to a GoFundMe page put up to help with her medical costs. Caitlin fell unwell and was taken to the emergency room by ambulance. When she arrived, testing found four dissected arteries in her neck.
This damage resulted in cardiac arrest, a stroke, and a lack of pulse for more than 10 minutes, after which she was revived. Caitlin was taken to surgery after physicians were able to stabilize her. Doctors were able to repair some tears and insert a stent into one of the arteries.
PSA: Please avoid neck adjustments.— Shematologist, MD (@acweyand) July 13, 2022
Turns out you have some important vessels in that area. https://t.co/qicBMfMJYd
Darlene Jensen, Caitlin’s mother told WSB-TV, "The surgeon that performed the surgeon on her that saved her life, and every other doctor that has looked at her, have all agreed that this happened as a direct result of the neck manipulation." She added, "The chiropractor called 911 and then called me and told me that she was ‘having a reaction to the treatment.’ " Caitlin's family has recruited legal representation on her behalf, and the cause of her injuries has not yet been confirmed formally.
The chiropractor was contacted for comment, but they declined due to HIPAA privacy restrictions. Caitlin is still in serious condition in the neurological ICU at Memorial Hospital in Savannah, Georgia, one month later. She is conscious but she can only respond to verbal directions by blinking her eyes and moving her left foot's toes. Jensen's injury is highly unusual, according to chiropractor Dr. Steve Ranicki.
He said, "Those dissections will often produce symptoms of headache and neck pain, which then drive people to a doctor’s office. Once they’ve gone to the medical doctor or chiropractor, the likelihood is, unfortunately, a stroke will occur."
Caleb Johnson, Caitlin's brother told WJCL, "That morning we were up and talking to her before work. You're talking to her and then 30 minutes later, she's in the hospital and now in the ICU." He added, "She's able to open her eyes every now and then and wake up a little bit. And kind of move her hands to squeeze a little. But that's it."
She graduated in May from Georgia Southern University with a degree in Chemistry and Biology, eager to pursue "the American dream." She was ecstatic about all of the job chances and possibilities that were ahead of her but it all came crashing down after this incident. The GoFundMe page has been able to raise over $55,000 until now.
This poor woman was just paralyzed after chiropractic neck manipulation:https://t.co/t0cTOn7Ciw— Dr. Jonathan N. Stea (@jonathanstea) July 13, 2022
A reminder that chiropractics is predicated on pseudoscientific premises, such as a vitalistic life force: https://t.co/3zINd55v3L
Her mother said, "She’s going to need a lot of help and we appreciate everyone’s generosity. The world is full of good people."
On a CaringBridge page created to post updates about Caitlin's health, Darlene wrote that she hopes her daughter's story will "help others avoid this type of injury."
“It’s truly remarkable that she is alive. I am shaken to the depth of my being by this experience,” Darlene, wrote on the GoFundMe. “When I look at my baby girl laying there, and she has the ability to look back at me, to see life in her eyes, to touch her and talk to her. She’s ALIVE. Hallelujah.”
The family plans to shift Caitlin to Shepherd Center in Atlanta to further her rehabilitation.
Cover Image Source: GoFundMe/Caitlin Jensen's Medical Expenses