A Georgia woman with a rare condition was left paralyzed after a routine trip to her chiropractor for a neck adjustment last month, and relatives are seeking financial help as her medical bills continue to mount.
WJCL reported that Caitlin Jensen, 28, a recent Georgia Southern graduate, visited a chiropractor on June 16 for an adjustment and left paralyzed and in critical condition.
Jensen suffered a stroke and went into cardiac arrest following the adjustment, losing her pulse for ten minutes before doctors at Memorial Health stabilized her in the intensive care unit.
Family members described how quickly the situation escalated.
“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,” Jensen’s brother, Caleb Johnson told the outlet. “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,” Johnson said.
Paralyzed After Routine Chiropractor Appointment Due To Rare Condition
Once doctors were able to stabilize Jensen, she was rushed to surgery, where they were shocked to learn all four arteries had been dissected. They were able to repair some tears and placed a stent in one artery, according to the family’s GoFundMe.
A month later, Jensen still remains in critical condition at the ICU at Memorial Hospital in Savannah. Relatives said the trauma has resulted in a traumatic brain injury.
Jensen is currently conscious and able to respond to verbal commands by blinking her eyes, as can wiggle her toes on her left foot, however the rest of her body sits in a state of paralysis due to the injury. Her four dissected arteries, which produce symptoms of neck pain and headaches, prompted her to visit a chiropractor in an effort to alleviate the pain.
WJCL talked to Dr. Steve Ranicki, a chiropractor who said Jensen’s condition is incredibly rare.
“Those dissections will often produce symptoms of headache and neck pain, which then drive people to a doctor’s office,” Dr. Ranicki said. “Once they’ve gone to the medical doctor or chiropractor the likelihood is, unfortunately, a stroke will occur.
Sometimes it’s as simple as going to a hair salon and having your neck tilted back in that bowl for an extended period of time while they’re washing your hair. Or it just could be horseplay or who knows what,” Ranicki added.
Family Seeking Financial Help As Medical Bills Mount
Family members noted that Jensen, a recent college graduate, has a very simple health care plan that will not cover the majority of her mounting medical bills.
A GoFundMe for Jensen has already raised $63,000 out of a $250,000 goal as of Thursday.
“It’s huge just to know that people are out there supporting as we to get her into therapy. She’s just a young college student with not the best health care,” Johnson said.
The chiropractor she visited declined to comment to WJCL, citing HIPPA laws which prevent doctors from discussing patient details.
Jensen’s family hopes to eventually transport her to the Shepard Center in Atlanta when she becomes stable enough to leave Memorial’s ICU, according to WJCL.