The chiropractor who left a 28-year-old Georgia woman paralyzed after a neck adjustment went wrong has not reached out to her family or apologized, and declined to comment when approached by DailyMail.com.
Caitlin Jensen was hospitalized on June 16 after a treatment administered by Dr. TJ Harpham, 42, left her with four ruptured arteries that led to a stroke and three heart attacks.
Harpham was seen arriving at Savannah-Hilton Head International Airport amid the controversy on Friday with his wife Jennifer, 37, and their three children for an Allegiant flight to Flint, Michigan, exclusive DailyMail.com photos show. Public records show Harpham owns a second home an hour drive from Flint in Auburn, Michigan.
The baseball-loving dad-of-three refused to discuss the incident, saying: ‘No, I have no comment. I have no comment about her or any other patient.’
Chiropractor TJ Harpham was seen arriving at Savannah-Hilton Head International Airport with his family on Friday amid the controversy surrounding his patient who was left paralyzed after he allegedly treated her
The Georgia doctor, who was catching an Allegiant flight to Flint, Michigan, was dressed down in activewear and sneakers, exclusive DailyMail.com photos show
The 42-year-old refused to discuss the incident when approached by DailyMail.com, saying he had ‘no comment about her or any other patient’
Caitlin’s family has also since revealed that Harpham, a chiropractor at Richmond Hill Family Chiropractic, has not spoken to his patient or her relatives since the botched procedure.
‘He said [at the time of the incident] it has not [happened before],’ grandmother Linda Foster, 72, told DailyMail.com.
‘He has not reached out to her or any of the family and we have not tried to contact him at this point. It’s really all about her and what needs to be done.
‘I think [Caitlin’s mother] Darlene is considering a medical malpractice suit – she has been advised to, I know.
Harpham, chiropractor at Richmond Hill Family Chiropractic, treated Caitlin multiple times before the botched procedure
‘It’s just because we want people to know and we want to take care of Caitlin. It’s going to be a life-changing event for her no matter what her outcome is.
‘There will be physical therapy and they’ll have to refit their house – as it is, she won’t even be able to get in the house with the steps at the back and the front.’
Caitlin, a scientific research assistant at Georgia Southern University and a recent graduate, signed up to be treated by Harpham after developing lower back pain.
Foster told DailyMail.com her granddaughter had suffered from aches in the aftermath of her exams in May and had visited Harpham three times prior to the incident that left her paralyzed.
‘She’d just graduated from college for the second time in May and she’d spent a lot of time studying for her final exams and so her neck felt stiff and tired because of that,’ she said.
‘She went for the low back pain – this was her last appointment. She’d never gone to a chiropractor in her life until now.
Caitlin Jensen, 28, can only communicate with her eyes and portions of the left side of her body as she languishes in a hospital bed after the shocking June 16 incident
The recent college graduate was rushed to hospital in Savannah, Georgia, where it was realized that four arteries in her neck had been dissected during a routine neck adjustment
Caitlinworked as a scientific research assistant at Georgia Southern University. She signed up to be treated by Harpham after developing lower back pain in May
‘She’d had three adjustments to her lower back and this was going to be her last one and she wasn’t planning to go back again.
‘But on this one, he adjusted her neck and that’s when it happened.’
Harpham, who was dressed down in black shorts and a gray t-shirt accessorized with a beaded ‘Jesus Loves’ bracelet for his flight to Michigan, comes from a family of chiropractors – among them his late grandfather Theodore.
He now lives in Bluffton, South Carolina, in a $298,000 three-bedroom house and commutes approximately 40 minutes to his practice in Richmond Hill, Georgia – the small city of 13,000 people that Caitlin, her mother Darlene, 49, and brother Caleb, 20, call home.
Harpham, who has three children, was recommended to Caitlin by a family friend.
Foster said: ‘A family friend knew she was having some back pain and she said, “well why don’t you go see my chiropractor – he can help you”. I’m sure he feels terrible.’
She told DailyMail.com how Harpham called 911 the moment Caitlin became ill but insisted that her condition was merely a ‘reaction’ to the treatment.
‘Caitlin’s chiropractor called her mom and said, ‘she’s had a reaction to her treatment’,’ she told DailyMail.com.
‘He didn’t know what was happening at that point. He didn’t know until she got to the hospital that she’d had a brain bleed from [the treatment] and she’d had a stroke.
‘That led to a heart attack.’
According to the patient’s family, Harpham, who has three children, was recommended to Caitlin by a family friend
Harpham is said to have called 911 the moment Caitlin became ill but insisted that her condition was merely a ‘reaction’ to the treatment, her grandmother told DailyMail.com
The young woman’s family is now considering filing a medical malpractice suit after being advised to do so
Harpham was seen drinking a canned flavored seltzer and wearing a ‘Jesus Loves’ bracelet
Caitlin’s mother Darlene previously told DailyMail.com that her daughter had been to Harpham on several occasions to address neck stiffness she was experiencing from ‘sitting at her desk for months working on her last classes,’ but had never undergone a neck adjustment, according to her mom.
‘You don’t think that a 28-year-old healthy woman is going to be having such an emergency and having a stroke,’ she said.
Foster said she has used chiropractors herself in the past. ‘I had been for lower back pain but I would never let one touch my neck.
‘That’s our purpose – spreading the word because we really want people to know about the danger and the risk, and to prevent anyone else from going through this.’
Caitlin is currently completely paralyzed down one side and can only communicate via blinking or doing a thumbs up.
She said: ‘She knows what they’re saying – she just can’t talk to them. She responds by blinking or squeezing their hand and now a thumbs up and a thumbs down.
‘She’s very aware of her situation.’
Foster told DailyMail.com how Caitlin’s accident isn’t the first time the family has been forced to deal with tragedy, after her father Curtis died aged 24 from leukemia.
She said: ‘When Caitlin was three-and-a-half, her daddy died of cancer. Darlene’s been through some horrific things in the past and this is in a way even harder for her because it brings that back.
Harpham comes from a family of chiropractors – among them his late grandfather Theodore. While his practice is located in Richmond Hill, Georgia, he and his family reside in a $298,000 three-bedroom house in Bluffton, South Carolina, about a 40-minute commute
Richmond Hill Family Chiropractic Office is located the Sawmill Plaza in Richmond Hill, Georgia, where Caitlin and her family live
‘Him in the hospital bed and going through all this sort of thing – it makes it twice as hard for her with Caitlin.’
Foster added: ‘He had joined the army and was just finished his basic training in the army when he found out he had leukemia.
Caitlin’s mom, Darlene told Dailymail.com: ‘You don’t think that a 28-year-old healthy woman is going to be having such an emergency and having a stroke’
‘For three and a half years he fought hard and brave, and all the nurses said that they never heard one word of complaint from him the whole time. Neither did we.
‘He was just very brave. A fighter. But in the end, he relapsed. That was 20 years ago. He was 24 when he passed away.
‘They didn’t have the medical technology that they do now.
‘We said at the time there’ll be some day, some place when they can save people in his condition but they weren’t able to get him to the place where he could have a bone marrow transplant.’
The family is now pinning its hopes on pioneering treatment for Caitlin at a specialist clinic in Atlanta, Georgia, and have so far raised $75,000 to cover the costs via a GoFundMe campaign. They have a goal set at $250,000
Foster hopes it will lead to Caitlin being able to lead a normal life.
Her family said they are working on getting the chemistry graduate out of hospital and into rehab, Jensen had aspirations of caring for the environment with a focus on sustainability
GoFundMe organizer Linda Foster wrote: ‘Caitlin Jensen graduated from Georgia Southern University this May with a degree in chemistry and biology, ready to live the American dream’
She said: ‘Our hope is that she can go to a rehabilitation center in Atlanta – the Shepherd Center is supposed to be one of the top ones in the country.
‘There’s a lady who lives in the same little town as Caitlin does who has been there due to an accident two years ago that paralyzed her.
‘That’s how we learned about it and they’ve [the clinic] been very supportive and helpful. We haven’t got the final word yet but that is the hope because they can do wonderful things there.’