After a normal pregnancy, Carson was born by C‐section without complications. For the first six weeks of his life, he was a well baby. At six weeks of age, Carson became extremely ill, having contracted pertussis. Hospitalized and placed on a ventilator, his condition worsened and he suffered cardio‐pulmonary arrest. Although hospital staff performed CPR and were able to resuscitate him, he sustained anoxia to the brain. After a complicated and extended hospital stay, Carson was finally discharged. His doctors cautioned my husband and me, that although it was too early to know the extent of damage for sure, they suspected brain injury from lack of oxygen during his cardiac arrest. They warned that his injury could prevent him from ever being able to walk or talk.
During the next year, it became evident that Carson was going to have severe delays and was diagnosed with moderate spastic quadriparesis with encephalopathy. He received services for physical, occupational and speech therapy.
After researching the Internet about Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy and cerebral palsy for over a year, we found information that a monochamber that could achieve 1.5 ATA was the best for children with neurologic problems. Although we did not receive support from his neurologist in our decision, we decided to make the 2 ½ hour trip from home and take Carson for 40 HBOT treatments in Hilton Head, SC.
At age 2 years and 2 months, Carson underwent his first set of 40 HBOT treatments. At the time, Carson could not sit up without assistance, feed himself, hold a sippy cup, had poor oral muscle control (could not chew food), lots of drooling, and he cried a lot. We noticed his pale, non‐descript, eye color and his inability to really focus on anything. He could not bear weight to stand and his only mobility was labored creeping by dragging himself around on his left elbow. His right hand was twisted and tightly fisted shut.
After three HBOT treatments, the clinic staff and I witnessed him cup his hands around a non‐handled sippy cup and drink his own juice. With each HBOT treatment thereafter, it became very evident that his muscles were getting looser and by the twentieth treatment, he was sitting up, unassisted, and starting to play while in the hyperbaric chamber. After 40 treatments we returned home.
We had read studies that claimed continued improvement and progress showed up the most in the months following HBOT. We found this to be true for Carson. Over the next three months his muscles continued to become looser and his body was no longer as "twisted". He began crawling on all fours, sitting without assistance and started to pull himself up to standing while holding onto furniture. Carson's pediatrician, neurologist and therapist all noted and documented his remarkable improvement. Classified as having "moderate" spasticity, he was now downgraded by his therapist to "minimal to none". His previously scheduled appointment to receive baclofen/botox injection (to treat his muscle contracture) was deemed unnecessary by the orthopedic doctor after his examination. Carson's doctor was so impressed, he urged us to share the news of our son's improvement after HBOT with other parents of cerebral palsy children, with hope of bringing encouragement to others.
Carson received the next series of 40 HBOT treatments after a ten month oxygen break. After this second set of treatments we saw the greatest improvement in his speech as he began to mimic words and use multiple word sounds in sentence form. He became socially interactive and playful, loving to tease his older brother, Dillon. We noticed his eyes had more depth and he was so much more alert to his surroundings. His balance and weight bearing continued to improve and he began walking with a medical walker. He continues to love his new found mobility.
Currently, Carson is in the process of completing his third set of 40 HBOT treatments since he started hyperbaric therapy in the fall of 2007. To us, the concept of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy is so simple to understand - getting the dormant cells in Carson's injured brain filled with oxygen and functional so that he can experience the best quality of life that we can give to him.
We are so proud of his progress. We thank the Lord and the natural healing power of 100% pure oxygen.*