Eden Carlson’s parents were told that their beloved 2-year-old daughter would most likely be a vegetable for the rest of her life – but, then, an experimental therapy reversed her brain damage.
In February 2016, Eden’s mother was horrified to discover that her daughter had broken through a baby gate and drowned in their backyard pool.
The toddler was resuscitated, however, and she stayed in the hospital, totally immobile and unresponsive to any stimuli. All Eden was capable of doing was squirming incessantly and shaking her head – she was unable to walk, talk, or respond to voices.
Then, Dr. Paul Harch of the LSU Health New Orleans School of Medicine, started giving the toddler normobaric oxygen treatments.
The treatments, administered nasally for 45 minutes twice a day, caused immediate and noticeable success. Eden became more alert and active with each session.
78 days after the incident, the family traveled to New Orleans where Eden was required to sit in a hyperbaric oxygen therapy chamber (HBOT) for an equal amount of time every day as her previous treatments.
After just 39 days using the chamber, doctors found that all signs of muscular dystrophy and brain damage had essentially been reversed —a feat researchers now say is a “world’s first”.
“The startling regrowth of tissue in this case occurred because we were able to intervene early in a growing child, before long-term tissue degeneration,” notes Harch. “Although it’s impossible to conclude from this single case if the sequential application of normobaric oxygen, then HBOT, would be more effective than HBOT alone, in the absence of HBOT therapy, short duration, repetitive normobaric oxygen therapy may be an option until HBOT is available. Such low-risk medical treatment may have a profound effect on recovery of function in similar patients who are neurologically devastated by drowning.”
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