Todd is 4 1/2 years old. He already underwent 32 HBO Treatments, ending May 31, 1998. It's been a full 6 months since his last treatment and on December 3, 1998, he began another series of treatments. This time totaling 35.
With the generosity of Susan Rodriguez and her family, they opened the doors of their clinic, Rapid Recovery Hyperbarics, for Todd to be their first toddler patient. The chamber was a monoplace, unlike England where it was a multiplace one. After the initial treatment, Todd and I settled in the roomy and cozy chamber and became quite comfortable in its spacious interior. Todd would sit facing the rear of the chamber watching his favorite videos from the rear porthole, absorbing the oxygen and I would lie facing the opposite direction reading a book or chatting with, as Todd would call her, 'Captain Susan!"
After only eight treatments we noticed that Todd was sitting straighter in his Kid Kart and not falling off to one side. I also noted he was reaching out to grab for farther distances. The first 12 treatments were to 24 feet. Within those first 12 treatments I also noted he was getting to side lying in the bath tub and that his legs were less spastic. (NOTE: After not having treatments for 6 months the only regression noted in Todd was the fact that his spasticity started to creep back in. He was still looser prior to our California trip than he was prior to our England trip.)
His energy level increased, he was holding himself up using an overhead bar in the chamber and supporting his total body weight. He easily started using his pointer finger on his left side. He bilaterally put a piece of paper behind his head and he pulled himself from the playroom rocking chair up to a standing position at the play kitchen.
Overall, these treatments have given him a reduction in spascity and he his stronger to move his wheelchair, Standing Dani and to take more purposeful steps in his Kaye walker. He's more focused on tasks at hand, listens better, visually attend to books and in a classroom setting listen to the teacher and directions better. He even began, within 1 1/2 months after our last treatment, to potty train and has had several days of complete dryness!
I full-heartedly believe in Hyperbaric Oxygen treatments for Todd and for children with Cerebral Palsy. I've seen first hand the benefits. Some people would like to argue with me that these changes I've seen with Todd are growth developments and that he would eventually accomplish these things sometime in the future. Perhaps this is true. However, don't I owe it to Todd to open these doors years ahead of what might naturally occur during his physically delayed growth developments? Wouldn't I rather he walked independently at 6 or 7 years of age rather than 11 or 12? And what a greater world is open to him now that he's speaking in complete sentences and able to show all around him how wonderfully bright and intelligent he really is.
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy, for Todd, has allowed him to cross many more bridges in this past year than any other form of therapy I've been able to offer him. As long as this treatment is affordable to our family, I will make it possible for him to benefit from it.
Aurora IL 60506