Healer dies after failing to treat a foot wound

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A healing therapist who refused to see a doctor died after developing gangrene in his leg.

Russell Jenkins injured his left foot treading on an electrical plug at his home.

The wound later became infected, but the 52-year-old shunned conventional treatment, saying his 'inner being' told him not to go to hospital.

Instead he tried treating it with honey, an ancient remedy for the treatment of infected wounds.

But gangrene spread to his leg and he later died.

Doctors said that if Mr Jenkins had sought help just a few hours before he passed away he could have been saved.

Mum Eileen Jenkins told a Portsmouth inquest: 'To lose my son is devastating, absolutely.

'But the way he died, I just can't come to terms with it, when I know all it needed was a phone call for a doctor or ambulance to be called, for antibiotics, and my son would be here today.'

The inquest heard how neither Mr Jenkins or his partner, Cherie Cameron, 58, a former theatre nurse, had sought medical help.

Mr Jenkins, who ran the Quiet Mind Centre from his home in Lorne Road, Southsea, had injured his foot in December 2006.

He developed an inch-long ulcer, leading to gangrene which later spread to his leg.

Mr Jenkins, a diabetic, sought advice from homeopath Susan Finn in April 2007, who suggested he treat it with Manuka honey, but she said he did not want to see a doctor and would not go to hospital.

His condition deteriorated and on April 13 he was forced to take to his bed.

When Ms Finn visited the following day, she saw blood on the bed sheets and described a foul smell in Mr Jenkins's bedroom.

His foot was swollen and one of his toes was discoloured.

Two days later Mr Jenkins's condition had rapidly worsened and his toes had turned black.

He died in the early hours of April 17 from gangrene caused by a mixed bacterial infection. Mark Pemberton, a consultant vascular surgeon at Queen Alexandra Hospital, Cosham, said Mr Jenkins would have had up to a 30 per cent chance of survival just two hours before he died.

'It is clear to me that had he been seen and treated along conventional medical lines, the likelihood is that his life would have been saved and that the calamitous chains of events leading to his death would have been avoided,' he said.

Recording a narrative verdict, Portsmouth and south-east Hampshire coroner David Horsley said: 'At no stage following the injury to his foot did Russell Jenkins or anyone else on his behalf seek or obtain conventional medical advice or treatment for his condition. In consequence, Russell Jenkins's condition was inappropriately and ineffectively treated by himself and by others and led to his death.'