Woman on job after treatment
Didn't complain after chiropractic visit, inquest told
Peter Small
Lana Dale Lewis, whose family believes she died as a result of a chiropractic neck manipulation, was at her job as a production line worker the week after she received the treatment, a former supervisor testified yesterday at the inquest into Lewis' death.

She complained only about one of her recurring headaches, said Joan Snow, who was Lewis' supervisor at Glaxo Wellcome, a pharmaceutical company. "It wasn't a migraine. She said she felt light-headed" and lay down for a while.

Snow said the Etobicoke woman was absent so often from work for various health complaints that she had been warned she could be fired if her attendance didn't improve.

Snow's recollection of Lewis being at work the week after her Monday, Aug. 26, 1996, neck manipulation by Philip Emanuele is at odds with testimony from the woman's son, Adam Lewis, 21, who said she sat at home with the curtains closed and in severe pain that week.

"During that week did she say anything ... with respect to treatment she may have received from a chiropractor," asked Tom Schneider, counsel for presiding coroner Dr. Barry McClellan.

"Not that I can recall," replied Snow.

Lewis, 45, was admitted to Queensway General Hospital Sunday, Sept. 1 with a severe headache, nausea, and problems with vision and balance. She was diagnosed as having had a stroke and was discharged Sept. 6.

Four days later she was readmitted with acute nausea, vomiting, headaches and difficulty speaking and walking. She died of a stroke Sept. 12.

Initially, a pathologist said the chiropractic adjustment caused her vertebral artery to split, or dissect, and that led to her fatal stroke, but a coroner's consultant later reviewed the findings and suggested her stroke had natural causes.

In previous testimony, neurologist Dr. John Norris said sharp neck pain almost always follows within a day after a split artery.

Chris Paliare, lawyer for the College of Chiropractors of Ontario, asked Snow if Lewis complained about neck pain the week after her last chiropractic treatment.

"Not that I can recall," Snow replied.

Neither did she complain about blurry vision, Snow said. She agreed it would be difficult to work on the line, where Lewis was required to inspect tablets, if her vision was poor.

Snow testified she knew of no records of Lewis being absent that week.

Under cross-examination by Tim Danson, representing the Canadian Chiropractic Association and the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College, she agreed that if Lewis had been missing it would have caused major problems on her production line.

She said she could not recall any such disruption.

The inquest continues today.

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