A woman fights for her life after a chiropractic adjustment went horribly wrong, leaving her with catastrophic injuries, including dissected neck arteries, a stroke and brain damage.
Caitlin Jensen has much to live for, blessed with a loving family and a bright future.
She had recently graduated from Georgia Southern University, USA, in May with a degree in Chemistry and Biology and was ready to live her dream life. She had been so excited about all the career opportunities and possibilities on her horizon.
But when Caitlin went for what was supposed to be a simple chiropractic adjustment on June 16, she never expected to suffer catastrophic injuries and have to fight for her life.
Caitlin had four dissected arteries in her neck, this damage led to cardiac arrest, stroke, and her cardiac arrest for more than 10 minutes, requiring CPR.
She was rushed to Memorial Hospital in Savannah, Georgia, where she underwent surgery. She was then taken to the neuro-ICU with a traumatic brain injury in critical condition.
She has been fighting every day since then.
Caitlin is currently conscious and able to respond to verbal commands by blinking her eyes and wiggling the toes of her left foot. However, much of her body is paralyzed by the injury.
Her mother Darlene posts updates about her daughter’s condition on Facebook, while a GoFundMe has been set up to help pay for her medical expenses.
Darlene shared the latest news on her daughter’s condition on Saturday.
“She went out of her way to smile today, and it was the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen,” Darlene said.
“She is progressing with her movements on the left side – wiggle and bend. She can’t lift her arm yet, or turn her head. Her right side is unchanged – still no movement.
“Her face doesn’t move much yet, but she can open her eyes wide to show surprise, and the left corner of her mouth tries to smile. Cute.
“Still dealing with the pneumonia. The anti-platelet therapy seems to be going well. We see no signs of internal bleeding and pray it stays that way.”
And the day before, Darlene posted, “Two weeks ago last night, we didn’t know if Caitlin would make it through the night,” Darlene said.
“Bad and catastrophic are two of the words we heard from our ICU team. We knew they didn’t just throw such words around.
“But – she’s alive, and every day it gets a little better. The achievements are small and monumental at the same time. Today she gave us a thumbs up. We worked on this and she got it! She nodded again today.
“It helps to see these things because it reassures us that she is working hard to stay with us and recover. Caitlin is strong, disciplined and well practiced in training her brain, and I truly believe her science background and all her time studying will help her on this long journey. †
The day before, Darlene posted about procedures Caitlin was undergoing and how she is taking drugs to prevent blood clots from forming in the stent the surgeons have inserted into her carotid artery.
‘Caitlin’s face has gone wireless! Hurrah! Today she got her peg tube (for feeding) and lost the NG tube in her nose. I’m sure it feels better.
“The procedure went without incident and we are relieved that it has been completed. They start with multiple medications in the morning to continue with the goal of keeping the stent free of clots.
“Tomorrow it will be two weeks since we almost lost her. It is truly remarkable that she is still alive. I am shocked to the depths of my being by this experience.
“When I look at my little daughter laying there, and she has the ability to look back at me, see life in her eyes, touch her and talk to her…she’s alive. Hallelujah.”
Darlene said she could give a little nod.
It’s all very welcome progress.
Studies have shown that traumatic carotid artery dissection is one of the leading causes of stroke in patients under the age of 45, and recent chiropractic neck manipulation is one of the factors that may be associated with the risk of vertebral artery dissection.