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    Special to ChiroWatch

    Mrs. Frances Denoon contacted ChiroWatch to ask if we could help publicize her story. In 1998 she had a stroke with near catastrophic results after a referral was made by her general practitioner, a medical doctor.

    The problem of inappropriate referral and/or treatment of patients with cervical manipulation in the U.K. now has an index case. This unfortunate circumstance has the potential to snowball across the U.K. as the chiropractic profession becomes regulated in 2002.

    We hope that those of you in the U.K., who refer to, or are in association with chiropractors will discuss this case with them. If U.K. chiropractors are going to bury their heads in the sand, like they have in North America, their potential victims will get no protection.

    Contact me if you have comments that can help:

  • E-mail: uk-stroke@chirowatch.com
  • How a neck massage put me in a coma - Frances Denoon article



    These are the facts relating to a recent treatment after which I nearly lost my life.
    Please consider this as a news story as I am very concerned about other patients having a similar experience - or indeed, losing their lives. I am available for interview at the address and telephone number listed below:

    On March 20, 1998 (aged 28) an episode began which featured a near death experience for me and which, after a long process of rehabilitation, has left me with a substantially reduced quality of life and my career as an insurance underwriter curtailed.

    On this date I visited a Registered Chiropractor operating in the UK and received neck manipulation to relieve neck pain from a sporting injury. After collapse I was urgently hospitalised with a "classic" vertebral artery dissection resulting in a post manipulative brainstem stroke.

    I suffered total paralysis and underwent emergency brain surgery to relieve swelling by draining and a removal of dead cerebral tissue. I was subsequently in intensive care for three days on life support, before being transferred to a high dependency unit. I spent a total of 2 months in hospital.

    After leaving hospital I embarked on an extensive and arduous programme of rehabilitation, which included physiotherapy and speech and occupational therapy as an outpatient.

    I have had to relearn so many aspects of normal everyday living - even breathing and swallowing. I have had to learn to walk and talk again and have had to deal with the results of such invasive procedures as tracheotomy and PEG (gastric feeding tube inserted in the abdomen). I was blind and unable to speak and slowly regained my sight and speech over several nerve-racking weeks.

    My rehabilitation programme is now complete but I am left with a permanent weakness in my right arm and leg. I am unable to write or perform precision tasks with my right hand, or to carry my small son upstairs or run after him. I have great difficulty in performing multitasks, tire easily, have poor balance and difficulties with speech, exacerbated particularly when under stress, and know that my thought processes are less effective. I was an active sports person but now know that this is beyond me, and I will never work full time for the rest of my life.

    Of course, my situation is a great deal better than it could have been and I am grateful for this, others in the past may not have been as fortunate. Others in the future may also suffer more than myself. Some may lose their lives.

    It appears that, though the risks from the form of upper cervical spine manipulation that I underwent are recognised in the USA & Canada as is the need for informed consent, here in the UK it is not so. At no time before or during my treatment was I made aware of, or warned against the risks associated with this manipulation though the profession, even in the UK, will agree that there are risks.

    Please help me to publicise the situation so that some form of professional regulation in the UK, similar to that in the USA, will result, thereby ensuring that fewer patients in the future will suffer as I have.

    I have substantial research material collected over 2 years, expert opinions, reports, website links info available (subject to release on legal advice).

    Mrs Frances Denoon
    Megan Corner Bungalow
    Westerleigh Rd, Westerleigh, South Glos BS37 8QP 
    Tel: 01454 324687 (email Rdenoon135@aol.com)
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