SLAP CLINIC DEATH PROBE

Di­a­betic boy dead af­ter ‘hit­ting ther­apy’

The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) - - Front Page - ASH­LEE MULLANY

DE­TEC­TIVES are in­ves­ti­gat­ing if a di­a­betic Syd­ney boy who died af­ter his par­ents took him to a bizarre Chi­nese medicine “slap­ping ther­apy” work­shop had his in­sulin stopped.

Ai­dan Fen­ton, 7, at­tended the course in Hurstville last week, where he was made to fast and then vom­ited. It is be­lieved he may also have taken part in the slap­ping be­fore fall­ing se­ri­ously ill and dy­ing as he was rushed to hos­pi­tal on Mon­day night.

Po­lice have spo­ken to a Chi­nese ther­a­pist who claims slap­ping cures ill­ness and rids the body of poi­sons.

DE­TEC­TIVES are in­ves­ti­gat­ing whether a di­a­betic Syd­ney boy who died af­ter at­tend­ing a “slap­ping ther­apy” work­shop con­ducted by a self­pro­claimed Chi­nese healer was also taken off in­sulin.

The fam­ily of seven-yearold Ai­dan Fen­ton was tak­ing part in an $1800 week-long al­ter­na­tive Chi­nese medicine work­shop at the Tasly Healthpac Cen­tre in Hurstville when he died.

Po­lice have spo­ken to a Chi­nese ther­a­pist who ad­vo­cates the use of slap­ping ther­apy un­til pa­tients are bruised to cure ill­nesses and rid the body of poi­sons.

Hongchi Xiao, who hosted seminars at the work­shop, has since left the coun­try.

It is un­der­stood Mr Xiao has claimed par­tic­i­pants in the sem­i­nar were asked to fast for three days and to un­der­take the slap­ping and stretch­ing ex­er­cises that can prompt vom­it­ing and dizzy spells, known as a “heal­ing cri­sis”.

Ai­dan was among those vom­it­ing dur­ing the sem­i­nar.

Mr Xiao said Ai­dan looked well dur­ing the sem­i­nar and had eaten rice but be­came ill on Mon­day evening af­ter Mr Xiao had gone to din­ner.

Po­lice and paramedics were called to the nearby Hurstville Ritz Ho­tel where the Year 1 stu­dent had been stay­ing with his par­ents af­ter the lit­tle boy was found un­con­scious at 9pm.

Ho­tel staff said they rushed to the fam­ily’s aid af­ter hear­ing screams com­ing from their room.

Ai­den was found in bed. His heart stopped beat­ing on the way to the hos­pi­tal.

Po­lice are now in­ves­ti­gat­ing if the “healer” ad­vised his par­ents to take Ai­dan off in­sulin and in­stead en­cour­aged al­ter­na­tive ther­a­pies to treat him, in­clud­ing mas­sages and slap­ping.

De­tec­tives ques­tioned Mr Xiao be­fore he left the coun­try and spent yes­ter­day tak­ing state­ments from wit­nesses.

Homi­cide Squad po­lice were no­ti­fied of Ai­dan’s death but the in­ves­ti­ga­tion has been left to lo­cal po­lice from St Ge­orge lo­cal area com­mand.

Mr Xiao had been in Syd­ney fol­low­ing a tour of New Zealand to pro­mote his “Paida-La­jin” ther­apy, which in­volves slap­ping the body un­til it bruises to “un­block merid­i­ans and drive out poi­sons”.

He has writ­ten sev­eral books on Chi­nese medicine and trav­elled the globe spruik­ing his slap­ping ther­apy.

“The greater the pain and bruises while slap­ping means there is more poi­son in­side the body,” he told a sem­i­nar in South Africa last year. “You can be your own doc­tor. We were all born with a self­heal­ing power but we sim­ply ig­nore it and spend mil­lions of dol­lars pay­ing for med­i­ca­tions. Na­ture heals, doc­tors are only as­sis­tants.”

In 2011, Tai­wanese au­thor­i­ties kicked Xiao out of the coun­try and fined him $US1600 for vi­o­lat­ing med­i­cal reg­u­la­tions.

In the same year rel­a­tives of a liver can­cer pa­tient com­plained to po­lice af­ter they paid $A4000 to at­tend Xiao’s ther­apy ses­sions only for him to die three months later, ac­cord­ing to re­ports in the Chi­nese me­dia.

Neigh­bours of the Fen­ton fam­ily de­scribed Ai­dan as a “beau­ti­ful, re­ally good boy” and said his par­ents had been too trau­ma­tised to speak about the in­ci­dent.

“All we can hear is them cry­ing, all the time,” said a neigh­bour, whose daugh­ter was the same age as Ai­dan and played with him over the school hol­i­days. “They were such good par­ents, it is re­ally hard to un­der­stand why it hap­pened and how it hap­pened.”

Ai­dan’s death will be re­ferred to the Coro­ner, who will then de­cide whether there is any ev­i­dence of med­i­cal mal­prac­tice.

Seven-year-old old Ai­danAi­dan Fen­ton, whowho died­died onon Mon­day; (inset) with his mother Lily and fa­ther Ge­off; and (right) Chi­nese slap­ping ther­a­pist Hongchi Xiao.

A younger Ai­dan Fen­ton with his par­ents Ge­off and Lily, and (be­low) Chi­nese medicine prac­ti­tioner Hongchi Xiao.

A crowd at a slap­ping ther­apy work­shop self-ad­min­is­ter the slaps, and (right) the Hurstville health cen­tre.

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