Asthmatic 'told to give up drugs'
Tragic patient's secret diary reveals her fears over homeopathic treatment A WOMAN who suffered from severe asthma died suddenly last summer while driving to see a homeopath who had earlier advised her to give up the medication she had been taking for her condition, it was claimed at an inquest yesterday.
According to a secret diary kept by the late Jacqueline Alderslade (55), of Hollymount, Co Mayo, the homeopath told her to stop all medication, except for a Ventolin inhaler, immediately.
Ms Alderslade, an interior designer and secretary, began the diary on June 29 when she first visited Mineke Kamper, a practicioner of alternative medicine, of Mulranny, Co Mayo.
Ten days later, while driving to Mulranny for an appointment with Ms Kamper, Ms Alderslade stopped her car after becoming seriously ill and died despite the efforts to revive her by a passing motorist.
In a notebook found later by gardai the woman explained that she needed to record what was happening to her.
She had been "scared" and "worried" but the homeopath had assured her that she would not let her down.
Ms Alderslade said she had been surprised when told she did not really have asthma, but an emotional reaction to a situation which manifested itself in this way.
In a statement to gardai, Ms Kamper, who described herself as a qualified nurse who now practises alternative medicine, denied she had instructed the deceased to stop taking her prescribed medicines.
Ms Kamper did not appear in the coroner's court. The womans partner, Fred Kermin said Ms Alderslade suffered from asthma and had been taking prescribed tablets including steroids. Mr Kermin said the evening his partner died, July 9, she had been on her way to attend Mineke Kamper. Mr Kermin said his partner kept a very itemised detail of all her visits in her diary. He added: "I think she was very concerned about giving up the steroids abruptly, that she kept this diary. I am now giving you the tablets and the diary. I feel I don't want this to happen to some other innocent patient. The woman might as well have shot Jackie as do this."
Hollymount-based GP, Dr William OConnor said Ms Alderslade had been a patient of his for five years. She suffered from asthma and was on various types of medication. In a statement to gardai, Mineke Kamper said Ms Alderslade had come to her in June. "I agreed that she had asthma which was caused by emotional upset," Ms Kamper added. She said she prescribed homeopathic remedies. Ms Kamper said that Ms Alderslade informed her of all her prescribed medicines. "I didnt take her off anything. The medicines I prescribed would work well with the other medicines. She wanted to go off the steroids as she was a long time user of these."
An inquest jury returned a verdict of accidental death in accordance with the medical evidence and recommended that persons considering alternative medication should only do so in consultation with their doctors.
The coroner, John O'Dwyer, agreed with the jurys recommendation.