Having had a very healthy boy up to the age of 4… an ear infection and a few sniffles were all Joseph had ever had. It was a shock when he was diagnosed with Encephalitis – a virus that attacked his brain.
Poor Joseph was in intensive care on a life support machine for 2 weeks with little hope from the doctors of his tiny body fighting off this unknown virus. He was unable to speak, walk, move any of his limbs, eat in reality it had left him virtually lifeless.
Fortunately for us all his body began to fight back and over the next 3 months he did walk out of Pendlebury Hospital. During his time in hospital he had to relearn to do all those body functions he lost. As a family it was an anxious time but as we watched him make progress in moving and slowly being able to feed himself our prayers seemed all worthwhile.
A lot of different therapies were given to Joseph to get him walking and talking again but we knew it would take a longtime to get him back to the Joseph we once knew.
It wasn’t just the physical side of Joseph that had to recover it was his mental ability to remember things, learn new things, sequence events, handle emotions- All of which most people can’t see.
When Joseph came home the therapies were very infrequent and Joseph was on so many waiting lists to receive treatment- we eventually started to look at what could help him now.
Having heard about the hyperbaric oxygen we did further research and spoke to Professor Philip James.
Joseph has now been receiving the treatment for 3 years and the regeneration of cells in his brain due to the treatment has helped immensely with his concentration, coordination and slowing down of messages from the brain to enable him to relearn things move effectively. We think of Joseph’s brain as a map of roads where the virus has caused some of the roads to close. The hyperbaric oxygen rebuilds new roads for Joseph to use and relearn skills that have been lost or are still developing.
Although Joseph had the oxygen treatment daily for the first month he now only receives it 2-3 times a month.
His general health has also improved and helped build up his immune system that the virus attacked.
We as a family are very grateful for how the treatment has helped Joseph and applaud the people that carry on this good work.