'Tennis elbow' man died after treatment

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The Independent Online
A HEALTHY man collapsed paralysed and later died after undergoing neck manipulation by a practitioner of alternative medicine, an inquest was told yesterday.

Roger Lawrence, 40, of Stockwell, south-west London, initially felt fine after being treated for tennis elbow by Mbarak Kombo - who had a qualification as an osteopath from a three-month course in Sri Lanka.

But he was found hours later by his wife, unable to move and breathe, Southwark Coroners' Court was told.

Mr Lawrence was taken to hospital and placed on a ventilator. He died four days later, on 6 April this year.

A neuro-pathologist, Dr Jennian Geddes, said that the manipulation caused a fatal blockage of an artery that would have cut off the blood supply to the brain. 'This is a noted rare and very lethal complication of neck manipulation,' he said.

Mr Kombo, of Dulwich, south-east London, said that he been practising manipulation for 16 years without any problems.

A verdict of accidental death was recorded.

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