The damage to the arteries in Caitlin's neck led to cardiac arrest and stroke. Though she is conscious, she can only blink and wiggle her toes.
A visit to the chiropractor left a Georgia woman paralyzed after four of her arteries were dissected during the procedure.
Caitlin Jensen, a recent graduate of Georgia Southern University, reportedly went to the chiropractor on June 16 for an "adjustment to her neck" after which she "felt unwell." She was rushed to the emergency room where further examinations revealed she had four dissected arteries in her neck.
"This damage led to cardiac arrest and a stroke, as well as a loss of pulse for over 10 minutes after which she was revived," according to a GoFundMe page set up to help pay for her medical bills. Once Jensen was stabilized, she underwent surgery, where doctors repaired some of the tears and placed a stent in one of her arteries.
The surgeon and other doctors "have all agreed that this happened as a direct result of the neck manipulation," Caitlin's mother Darlene Jensen told WSB-TV. "The chiropractor called 911 and then called me and told me that she was 'having a reaction to the treatment'," Darlene added.
Meanwhile, the cause of Caitlin's injuries has not yet been determined officially, and her family has sought legal representation on her behalf.
Caitlin Jensen, a recent college grad from Georgia, was paralyzed after visiting a chiropractor for an adjustment that left her with four dissected arteries: https://t.co/ddzTSw32ip pic.twitter.com/ewYsDyudSF— FOX 8 New Orleans (@FOX8NOLA) July 13, 2022
Though conscious, Caitlin is in critical condition in the neurological ICU at Memorial Hospital in Savannah, Georgia, one month later. She blinks her eyes and wiggles the toes of her left foot to respond to vocal commands. She can also squeeze people's hands according to her family. "However, the rest of her body sits in a state of paralysis due to the injury," the GoFundMe revealed.
Caitlin's brother, Caleb Johnson painfully recalled the morning of the incident, "You're talking to her and then 30 minutes later, she's in the hospital and now in the ICU," he said.
A CaringBridge page has also been set up in Caitlin's name to share updates about her health. Darlene wrote on the page that she hopes the spotlight on her daughter's story "will help others avoid this type of injury."
Georgia Southern graduate Caitlin Jensen, 28, is left paralyzed and after a chiropractor accident: Visited the practice for a neck adjustment.— Reformed Bully (@ReformedBully) July 14, 2022
She was rushed to hospital in Savannah, Ga., where they found four arteries in neck were dissected. https://t.co/i00xJpLosj
While the name of the chiropractor Caitlin went to has still not been revealed, Dr. Steve Ranicki, a chiropractor in Pooler, Georgia explained that Caitlin's injuries are incredibly rare. “Those dissections will often produce symptoms of headache and neck pain, which then drive people to a doctor’s office,” Ranicki said. “Once they’ve gone to the medical doctor or chiropractor, the likelihood is, unfortunately, a stroke will occur.”
In an update on the GoFundMe, Darlene wrote that Caitlin gave "the tiniest of nods with her head" for the first time since the incident. "It would be easy to miss, but I swear - I saw her nod her head in answer to me today," she wrote.
Caitlin Jensen, one of our recent graduates, suffered life-threatening injury last week. She is now in the ICU at Memorial Hospital in Savannah. She is conscious but largely paralyzed. To learn more and consider contributing to her care go to https://t.co/X2iOtX4Xrr. pic.twitter.com/aw6ygbC59O— Georgia Southern Biology (@GaSouthernBiol) June 27, 2022
“It’s truly remarkable that she is alive. I am shaken to the depth of my being by this experience,” Darlene wrote. “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.”
Caitlin's family hopes to move her to the Shepherd Center in Atlanta for further rehabilitation.
"We are still trying everything we can to get her into Shepherd," Darlene wrote on GoFundMe on June 29, 2022. "We're having trouble with the insurance part of it, and we really need that part to work out."
Cover Image Source: GoFundMe