A MAN suffered a broken neck while being treated by a York chiropractor for an aching leg, an inquest heard today.

John Lawler’s widow Joan told how her husband was on a treatment table at Chiropractic 1st in The Mount in August 2017 when things started to go wrong.

She said he started shouting at chiropractor Dr Arleen Scholten: “You are hurting me. You are hurting me.” Then he began moaning and then said: “I can’t feel my arms.”

Mrs Lawler said Dr Scholten tried to turn him over and then manoeuvred him into a chair next to the treatment table but he had become unresponsive. 

“He was like a rag doll,” she said. “His lips looked a little bit blue but I knew he was breathing. 

“I said: ‘Has he had a stroke?’ She put his head back and said ‘no, his features are symmetrical’.

“She started shouting to get an ambulance.”

The inquest was told that paramedics arrived, treated John and took him downstairs in a chair and to York Hospital, and he was later transferred to Leeds General Infirmary.

He was given an MRI scan and a doctor told Mrs Lawler he had suffered a broken neck.

She said she was subsequently 'bluntly' told that her husband, aged 80, was a paraplegic and he could undergo a 14 hour operation which would be traumatic, but he 'just faded away', and died the day after the incident.

The inquest heard that Mr Lawler had a history of lumbar degenerative disease and had metal rods in his lower back.

Paramedic Eleanor Davies said she believed on initially treating Mr Lawler that he had suffered a 'cerebral event' such as a stroke rather than trauma, and this had led to her decision to take him down to the ambulance in a chair rather than a scoop stretcher. " A chair seemed appropriate at that time," she said.

The Press reported last year that a woman who had been arrested on suspicion of manslaughter in connection with Mr Lawler's death was being released without charge, following a police investigation.

In 2017, Mrs Lawler, Mr Lawler’s wife of more than 50 years, paid tribute to the retired bank manager, who she said was “a much-loved husband, father and an incredible grandfather”, who was “a keen golfer, walker, and all-round sports fan.' She said family and friends were 'devastated' by his sudden death. 

The inquest, which is being held at York Racecourse, continues tomorrow and is expected to last all week.