NEW ORLEANS, La. -- Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is a well-known treatment for scuba divers who suffer from decompression sickness. However, very few medical professionals have used the therapy to treat other conditions, stating insufficient evidence that the therapy works. But one Louisiana State University doctor says the treatment should be used more widely and has the cases to back it up.
Robert Boytim was a happy, active kid, full of life. But that all changed when he fell into a pond in his yard and nearly drowned.
"He was recovered from the pond by his sister. Between his sister, the police that came and EMS, they did CPR on him for about 45 minutes," stated William Boytim, Robert's father.
They got Robert to the hospital where he was resuscitated, but the prognosis was gloomy.
"We were sent home with a child we were told would never open his eyes, never speak, never react," continued William.
Then there was Amy Grady who had already signed the paperwork to donate her son Connor's organs after he suffered neurologic injuries at birth and was given a grim prognosis.
Connor's mother, Amy Grady, shared, "There was no other options for us. We went home with a baby who was going to die."
Both families were getting ready for the worst outcome, but then they found Doctor Paul Harch who specializes in hyperbaric oxygen therapy, or h-bot, which uses pure oxygen to promote healing.
Paul G. Harch, MD, LSU School of Medicine, said, "The injury process usually involves reduction in blood flow and oxygen."
The increase of oxygen during therapy helps carry that oxygen throughout the body, stimulating the release of growth factors. When Robert got to Dr. Harch his body ...
" ... was bent completely backwards and his rear end was within eight inches of the back of his head," explained William.
Two days after his first treatment, his bend was gone. Now further into his treatments, he's eating, moving his arms and legs and laughing. After Connor's first treatment ...
" ... he was kicking and playing on his mat. It honestly changes so much for me and hope and his potential outcome for his future life now," Amy Grady shared.
Both families had to wait months to get this treatment because their original hospitals did not offer it. In Robert's case, his hospital did have hyperbaric oxygen therapy, but refused to offer it due to protocol.
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