Dylan Kim, an eighteen month old toddler from Texas, survived a major accident just over six months ago. On the 23rd of March earlier this year, he was found face down in his family’s pool in Sugar Land, Texas. He spent weeks on life support as doctors tried desperately to restore his health.
After some time, the hospital where he was admitted told his family to prepare themselves for the possibility of Dylan’s death. His mother said that at one point, young Dylan’s breathing got really shallow and labored. The room was eerily quiet, and his parents almost gave up hope.
However, Dylan was a survivor who was not to be defeated that easily. Despite the dire predictions of doctors and other medical staff, he just kept breathing.
Brain Trauma Caused by Near Drowning
Dylan stayed alive and kept breathing, and soon he was sent home along with his loving parents. However, after just a few months of his release from the hospital, little Dylan was diagnosed with severe brain trauma and had to be rushed to the hospital once again.
According to the doctors, the brain trauma was caused by a lack of blood and oxygen in his brain. Due to the damage caused by the initial near-drowning incident, Dylan’s brain was not receiving an adequate supply of blood. As blood carries oxygen throughout the body, his brain was also being deprived of oxygen.
The doctor treating Dylan believed that this was a devastating injury which might haunt the boy for the rest of his life. Many of the blood vessels in his brain were found to have been damaged during the initial accident in the pool.
Knowing the severity of the issue and the potential consequences for the life of their beloved child, Dylan’s family searched desperately for alternative treatment options. They finally came upon a hyperbaric therapy clinic in New Orleans.
The Effects of Hyperbaric Treatment
At the clinic, Dylan’s parents found new hope. They were told that their boy had a high chance of recovery, and that a few hyperbaric sessions could make a great difference in his quality of life. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy, they were told, is often prescribed by doctors for the treatment of neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism, ADHD, cerebral palsy, and motor disorders.
Dylan and his family subsequently relocated to the city of New Orleans for the summer months. In New Orleans, they arranged for Dylan to regularly partake in hyperbaric sessions at the clinic, pinning their hopes on this non-traditional treatment option.
Dylan’s mother said that she decided to take a leap of faith with the hyperbaric treatment because Dylan, at less than two years old, was fighting desperately to get his life back. Hence, she felt that as his parents, she and her husband must also do all that was in their power to help him survive and thrive despite his injury.
How HBOT Works: An Overview
The seemingly simple recipe of air pressure and oxygen has been used to treat thousands of patients suffering from a variety of illnesses over the years. Numerous studies have shown the efficacy of hyperbaric treatment for conditions ranging from traumatic brain injuries and decompression sickness to gas gangrene and diabetic foot ulcers.
Patients undergoing hyperbaric treatment have to enter a pressurized vessel known as an HBOT chamber a few times a week. During these sessions, 100 percent pure oxygen is administered to the patient at heightened levels of atmospheric pressure. This high pressure level may range from two to five times normal air pressure at sea level.
Under excess pressure, the pure oxygen inhaled by the patient is quickly absorbed into the bodily fluids and carried to all parts of the body and the brain by the plasma and cerebrospinal fluids. This increases the availability of oxygen in the brain, which in turn facilitates tissue regeneration, angiogenesis, and the formation of blood vessels.
How the Hyperbaric Treatment Affected Dylan Kim
Hyperbaric treatment is also known to facilitate the growth of tissues and the healing of wounds. According to Dylan’s parents, the treatment that their son received at the hyperbaric clinic in New Orleans during the summer months has caused remarkable improvements.
After the hyperbaric treatment began, Dylan started independently moving his eyes, blinking, and showing some facial expression. He is also more relaxed and his tone is lower pitched than before.
Dylan’s mother said that while HBOT might not cause miraculous improvements overnight, her son has definitely come a long way since they first arrived at New Orleans for this alternative treatment procedure. Each hyperbaric session that they undertake, according to Dylan’s parents, gives them hope that they never had before.
In their eyes, every tiny change in Dylan’s behavior is a milestone for him and the family as a whole. Along with hyperbaric treatment, the boy is also undergoing physical and occupational therapy. To continue their son’s treatment, Dylan’s parents are planning to install a hyperbaric therapy chamber in their own residence.