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Karen's Story

Spinal Meningitis
Hypoxic Encephalopathy
July 2003

Karen is wonderful wife and mother of two teenagers. On April 20th (Easter Sunday) Karen woke with a mild headache. She sings in the church choir early in the morning. As the day wore on, Karen's headache grew worse.

The next day her headache was extreme with associated stiffness in her neck. As the afternoon approached, Karen requested to go to the hospital. She said, that it felt like her head was going to explode. She never has headaches so I took her to the Emergency Room. Based on Karen's signs and symptoms the doctors ordered a Spinal Tap to check the amount of white cells present and to determine the pressure in her spinal column. Also known as Spinal Meningitis.

The hospital wasted not time in admitting my wife and quarantined her from the rest of the patients on her floor. She then developed a very high temperature and started to get the shakes real bad. Delirium started later that first night.

On day three of our hospital stay, Karen suffered what is known as Hypoxic Encephalopathy. Her brain had swelled to the point that blood-carrying oxygen could not reach many parts of her brain. Because of this condition, Karen suffered seizures and a stroke. She could not recognize me, her husband of 17 years and she was unable to speak in a normal fashion. There were times when her conversation was totally inappropriate. She had obvious right side defects She could not use her hand or even sit up straight, plus one of the optic nerves suffered damage and caused her to be cross eyed with double vision. The doctor requested an MRI and EGG to determine the amount of brain damage.

On day, four it was obvious that our life had changed. Karen had no control over her body, she had no long term memory and very little short term memory, double vision, very slurred speech, inappropriate words, unable to control her bowels, bladder, unable to walk and all the while struggling with very high fevers. At one point, the doctors considered emergency brain surgery.

After 40 days in the hospital, Karen showed very little signs of improvement and it was suggested that we consider a convalescing hospital with the hope that may be she would recover a couple of years. She seemed to be a little better but she remained in a diaper and was unable to walk. She had no balance even sitting in a wheel chair. She could only visit for 15 minutes, then fell to sleep.

During Karen's stay at the hospital, I met a lady whose husband had suffered a stroke, because we had time while our spouses rested, we often would talk. As it turned out her, son had meningitis as a young man and we got on the subject of Hyperbaric Therapy. She brought in a booklet on the therapy. After reading, the booklet I spoke to Karen's doctor about such treatment. The doctor told me that if her family member had the type of damage that Karen had she would not hesitate to try Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy.

I called Rapid Recovery Hyperbarics and spoke with Susan. The day Karen was released from the hospital I took her directly to the Hyperbaric Center, and after a history and physical exam by Dr Underwood, we started treatment. I decided against putting Karen into a convalescing hospital and brought her home after our first treatment.

Karen noticed a difference after the first treatment. I immediately blew this off as wishful thinking. However, after about five treatments I started to notice improvements. After 15 treatments, Karen's strength had dramatically improved as well as her stamina. On July 15th the biggest improvement had occurred. Karen had control over her bladder and bowels again! She started to regain enough balance that she was transferring from her bed to the wheel chair with out very much assistance. After 30 treatments, Karen was able to stand with out falling over. Her memory was back and her eyes straightened out! She was now learning to write again. After 40 treatments Karen walked away from the chamber room, both Karen and Susan were in tears.

By October Karen was able to work out at the gym with a trainer She is now able to drive and ride her horses again! She is about 95% fully recovered. Karen has amazed all who knew the circumstances. She is truly a miracle through much prayer and Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy. I have and will continue to endorse Rapid Recovery Hyperbarics and this therapy!

I am very thankful to the Lord and Rapid Recovery Hyperbarics, Our life has returned to normal.


(Karen's husband)
Fire Dept. Captain
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