A two year old who drowned in a swimming pool has undergone first-of-its-kind reversal of brain surgery using a combination of oxygen therapies. Two year old Eden Carlson slipped through a baby gate and made it past a heavy door while her mother was in the shower, before eventually falling into the swimming pool. She was in the water for 15 minutes before being discovered and wasn’t successfully resuscitated for two hours. She was in hospital for two days until being discharged but due to the extent of the brain damage hyperbaric specialist Paul Harch from the LSU Health New Orleans School of Medicine proposed oxygen therapy in order to wake up Eden’s damaged brain. Over time, Eden recovered alertness, reduced squirming, regained increased movement in legs and arms, could speak short sentences, eat and laugh. After 10 sessions of the hyperbaric chamber she was back to near normal except gross motor function. After further sessions, 162 days after she drowned, MRI scans revealed Eden bore a mild residual injury to her brain but had experienced a near- complete reversal of cortical and white matter atrophy.
The researchers were trying something new here and stated that this kind of reversal is unreported with any other type of therapy. There have been concerns from other doctors who have stated that here is no clear evidence that hyperbaric chamber therapy allow the brain to respond to injury and oxygen once neurological death has occurred. It seems to me that this is a onetime incident which I hope has repeatable outcomes in the future. It’s amazing to hear stories of children who come this close to death are given a second chance due to technological advancements. Even if there is an element of coincidence in this story, I believe that these incidents give rise to future technologies which may benefit everybody. I know hyperbaric chambers are used today but the science is exact, but these are the types of medical advancements we should be looking in to. Increasing the levels of oxygen absorbed by the blood has seen to have benefits to general health but I am happy to hear a story where life was regained due to an accident.