HBOT Helps Restore Dreams and Plans

HBOT Helps Restore Dreams and Plans

Woody Allen once said, “If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans.” Tony had been involved in ministry off and on for many years. He developed a passion for church planting and dreamed of planting a new church when he finished his residency.

Unfortunately, his plans hit a severe and sudden wall (or in this case truck) in early 2022. On Valentine’s Day, Tony was driving back from visiting his mother at a nursing home in Whitehouse. Doctors believe he had an allergic reaction and passed out, causing his vehicle to drift left of center striking a semi-truck head on. The impact was so intense that he broke the truck’s axle. The semi delivered an even more horrific blow to Tony. Tony’s car was so severely crushed that it was virtually unrecognizable. Tony ended up damaging his eyes and ears, breaking his foot, lower back, most of the ribs on his left side and suffered a collapsed lung. It was truly a miracle that he survived.

Following his accident, Tony underwent countless surgeries in hopes of repairing the damage to his body. Despite the doctors’ best efforts through these surgeries, Tony was still plagued with constant migraines, back aches and body pain. He struggled with getting a good night’s sleep and experienced concerning depression. Tony’s massage therapist told him that his body was so hard that it felt like concrete. He eventually exhausted his physical therapy sessions through insurance after not showing adequate progress. Tony was not able to work for over a year due to the struggles and setbacks he experienced throughout his recovery process.

Chiropractic, physical, and massage therapy were able to relieve some physical tension but couldn’t address the constant pain, and migraines Tony was living with. Unfortunately, the only plausible treatments and relief doctors were able to offer came through the endless barrage of different medications. However, these drugs eventually began to take a toll on him physically and he knew something had to change.

Tony’s pastor had originally mentioned Sara’s Garden to him shortly after the accident. At the time, he didn’t understand how HBOT could help his situation and he wasn’t in the right frame of mind to try and learn. It wasn’t until months later, when he became concerned with the path all of the medications were taking him down, that he started to look into Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy more diligently.

He was surprised and encouraged to learn how HBOT had been successful in treating traumatic brain injuries. Research showed that many military troops who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan are returning home with TBI and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). In the past few years there have been numerous Defense Department-led studies looking at the effects of HBOT on troops with TBI. HBOT is an effective and economical treatment for TBI and PTSD, without the very dangerous and negative side effects of antipsychotic medication. Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy has also been shown to improve client’s fine and gross motor skills, speech, thinking (cognition), memory and physical healing.

For Tony, HBOT provided immediate feedback as to its effectiveness. Tony experienced significate relief within the first 45 minutes of his initial session. He stated, “I noticed the constant ‘thudding’ in my head went away. For the first time in a long time, there was clarity in my thinking.’

Since completing treatments, Tony is overjoyed to report that the migraines which had plagued him for so long have finally gone away. He has noticed more flexibility with his back and felt there was finally a shift in his body’s healing. People have commented that he looks so much better and seems to have better control of his body movements and surety in his gait.

Tony has expressed, “I feel great and am so thankful for these treatments. My bones are healed, my migraines have dissipated, and my back is loosening up. Everyone at Sara’s Garden was so helpful and friendly. I cannot begin to tell you how much this process has meant to me. I grow stronger every day and have much better mental clarity.”

Thanks to Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy at Sara’s Garden, Tony was once again able to turn his focus to the plans and dreams he had before his accident. He has started seeking work and by the grace of God, has started a new church plant endeavor in central Ohio.

No matter what you’ve been told, there is hope… for this and many other conditions. HBOT is treatment without drugs… without surgery… without pain.

Let’s Get Moving

Let’s Get Moving

Being first time parents can be scary. There is so much uncertainty; so many “What ifs?”. With all the new experiences that come with pregnancy and preparing for a baby to arrive, new parents have a lot to navigate and prepare for. For Matthew and Emily, Eleanor was to be their first child. There were no issues or complications throughout the entire pregnancy process; no warning signs that something might be wrong with this precious gift. Preparing for their baby to need significant early intervention services was the furthest thing from their minds.

The family was so excited when Eleanor was born. Their beautiful child had finally arrived and they loved every minute they spent together. However, by the time Eleanor was six months old, Matthew and Emily began having concerns that she did not seem to be meeting her developmental milestones. Her pediatrician told them not to worry about it, and to simply wait and give her time to catch up.

Unfortunately, waiting did not work. By the time Eleanor was a year old, she was significantly behind in virtually every developmental milestone. Doctors determined that Eleanor had generalized hypotonia (abnormally low muscle tone). Hypotonia can be a condition on its own or it can be indicative of some other condition where there is progressive loss of muscle tone. In Eleanor’s case, despite countless evaluations and genetic testing, an officially diagnosis was not given, although doctors hinted at her condition being a combination of Ataxia and Paraplegia. Whatever Eleanor’s underlying condition may ultimately be, it has led to significant developmental delays in her fine motor, gross motor and communication skills.

Eleanor began seeing a physical therapist, occupational therapist and speech therapist. Over the course of the next year and a half, Eleanor did make some progress through these therapies, but nothing monumental. She still had not yet learned to crawl, sit up from a lying position or walk. She had very little independence in moving herself around the home. Matthew and Emily were still searching for answers.

Thankfully, Eleanor’s grandmother, Lori, works at Sara’s Garden in the hyperbaric center as its Clinic Director. She began encouraging Emily to consider bringing Eleanor to Sara’s Garden for Conductive Education (CE) services. Conductive Education believes that neurological disorders are not seen as limiting factors and that everyone has the ability to learn and thrive. Conductive Education is built on the assumption that damage to the central nervous system, which causes motor dysfunction, can be overcome by using specialized learning strategies and that the nervous system can generate new neural connections.

Conductive Education allows kids to see themselves as self-reliant, regardless of how many limitations the world tells them they have. It also helps children develop an “ortho- functioning personality,” meaning it helps them achieve educational and daily living goals via nurturance and developing a teaching plan that centers around the child and their likes and dislikes.

Matt and Emily started noticing benefits of Conductive Education after Eleanor’s very first month (4 sessions). She was beginning to make connections between the strengthening exercises she had been doing and actual, usable motions. She was using the strength in her arms, legs and core to crawl using motions and spoken commands. Her family noticed very quickly how much more Eleanor was able to do each time they saw her. Eleanor’s visiting nurse through her county’s early intervention program was also very impressed, noting that she hadn’t seen so much rapid progress before Eleanor began CE.

Emily noted that “The staff at Sara’s Garden have been great and I really appreciate their willingness to not only teach Eleanor, but also me. They are patient and explain the exercises and activities so that we can practice them at home. I’m excited to see how much more progress Eleanor can make working with these amazing conductors!”

Eleanor is now nearly 3 years old. After about 5 months of CE, it’s clear that she feels more independent. She can now walk with support from her parents and is extremely motivated and excited to move around her house on her own and go everywhere her parents go.

Thanks to Conductive Education at Sara’s Garden, Eleanor has a much brighter future. She is ready to get moving and experience far more independence than her family believed was possible. No matter what you’ve been told, there is hope… and Conductive Education can help you find it.

It Takes a Village

It Takes a Village

It Takes a Village to Raise a Child & It Takes Community Partnerships to Support Sara’s Garden & Its Families!

They say, “It takes a village to raise a child;” and Sara’s Garden believes that it takes a community and community partnerships to support its children and adults with disabilities and other special needs, as well as their families. Sara’s Garden wants to thank and recognize its many community partners and partnerships for all they do for our clients and their families!

Through fundraising efforts, vocational partnerships, organizational collaborations, community partnerships, and the love and support of our volunteers and donors, Sara’s Garden, New Horizons Academy (NHA), its Career Center, and its latest venture—Special Grounds Coffee impact the lives of so many in need from across Northwest Ohio. Through these community partnerships, Sara’s Garden is able to support and lift up so many children and clients with disabilities and their families with the power of hope, help, and healing!

Sara’s Garden believes that when a child with special needs is given the opportunity to become as independent as he or she can possibly be and to fulfill his or her full potential, families and communities are changed forever! Among the many community partners and partnerships, which bring hope, help and healing to our clients and families are: Anderzack-Pitzen Construction, Andres O’Neil & Lowe, Arrow Tru-Line, Auto Images, Babcock Flooring Installs, Beck Insurance, Blue Layne Boutique, Car 1, Circle K, Continental Plaza Car Wash & Drive Thru Carry Out, Cordy Insurance Agency, Creighton Electric, Csehi Family, Defiance Moose Family Center, Edward Jones, Everence, F&M Bank, Gearig Flooring, Golf Graphics, Grieser Transportation, Guy O’Connor, Haas Door, Hite Concrete Equipment, Holthues & Associates, Ironwood Golf Club, Kinsman Propane, Krauss-Lane Electric, Meijer, Meyer-Badenhop Insurance, Miller Brothers Construction, Nagle Companies, Pettisville Grain, Reinbolt Family, Reitzel Ag Equipment, Returning American Warriors (RAW), Riley Tractor Parts, Rupp Seeds, Rychener Seed, Schuette Construction, Subway, Swanton Welding & Machining, Terry Henricks Auto Group, The Image Group, The Leaf and Seed Café, Tomahawk, Wauseon Chamber of Commerce, Wauseon Machine & Helping Hands, Weeping Willow Florist, Winzeler & Bok, and Wolf Creek YMCA.

Through community health and educational partnerships, Sara’s Garden is able to provide the highest quality of medical and educational programming available and empowers individuals with disabilities to reach their full potential. According to Housing and Urban Development (HUD) guidelines, over 80% of NHA families are considered low-income with 63% considered very low-income. Our special needs students and their families are dealing with multiple medical, mental health, and financial issues and concerns. NHA students are from over 25 Northwest Ohio public school districts with many of them participating in Special Grounds Coffee fundraisers and other activities to help support vocational skills training for youth and young adults with disabilities. Among the schools working with NHA, Sara’s Garden, its students, and Special Grounds Coffee are– Bryan City Schools, the Delta Parent Athletic Club, Evergreen Local Schools, Liberty Center Schools, Millcreek-West Unity School’s Future Farmers of America (FFA), Pettisville Local Schools, Stryker Local Schools, and Wauseon Exempted Village Schools. Through its medical and health care partnerships, Sara’s Garden also works closely with numerous medical providers including Dermatology Associates and the Fulton County Health Center (FCHC).

Special Grounds Coffee works closely with its local school partners and other organizations through coffee fundraisers to help provide meaningful vocational opportunities for NHA’s special education students. Those that have been a part of the coffee fundraising program have seen a great return on their investment both financially and through hands-on product preparation, bagging, and delivery. Among Special Grounds Coffee community partners are: Christy’s Corner, Continental Plaza, Crossroads Church, Diamond Jim’s Pool Hall, Enviroscape ECM, the Fulton County Commissioners, Fulton County Humane Society, Fulton County Sharp Shooters & Showman, Johnston Fruit Farms, Lange Bakery, Living Word Galena, Lugbill Supply Center, Marigold Market, New Hope Community Church, Pathfinders, Penny Crest, Pettisville Missionary Church, Redemption Church, RAW, True North Church, and Wyse Guys.

NHA and its Career Center also work with numerous community partners to provide vocational skills training and community work study placements. Among these work study partners are: Ace Hardware, Chief Supermarkets, the Fulton County Airport, Goodwill Industries, Home Restaurant, and Triangular Processing with additional community work sites coming on weekly.

If you, your business, or organization are interested in partnering with Sara’s Garden, New Horizons Academy, Special Grounds Coffee, or its new Career Center, please call or email Sara’s Garden’s Community Outreach Coordinator Tara Dumas at 419-335-7272 or

Again, “it takes a village to raise a child” and community partnerships to support children and adults with disabilities and their families. Sara’s Garden wants to thank and recognize all of its many community partners and partnerships. If we have missed anyone, please know that we are grateful and appreciate everything that you have helped Sara’s Garden and its clients with. Only through these very valuable community partnerships is Sara’s Garden able to support and lift up so many children and clients with disabilities and their families with the power of hope, help, and healing!

3 Is The Magic Number

3 Is The Magic Number

Just as there are three layers to an espresso coffee (the crema, body and heart), there are three aspects of the Special Grounds Coffee business (the roastery, kitchen and cafe) that three of our New Horizons Academy (NHA) Career Center seniors (Gabe Hobby, Tyler Davidoff, and Noah Nagel) are learning.

Most people that visit Special Grounds Coffee Co. or any other coffee house, usually only see and experience the front of house customer service aspects of its counter staff or baristas. Yes, they are the first or initial contact with the public just as the crema is the first or top layer of the espresso shot. Baristas, counter workers, and drive-thru staff greet customers and newcomers, visit with them, take their orders, create their drinks, and serve them delicious baked treats. 

“We want to congratulate and celebrate with senior Gabe Hobby! He just completed his drive thru training and is almost completely independent in serving customers their drinks and desserts,” shared Career Center Coordinator, Amy Murphy.

Gabe has come a long way in a very short period of time. He completed his health and safety food training and his OSHA modules before observing the Special Grounds Coffee Shop operations, shadowing its staff, practicing with job coach April Howard, working alongside experienced Special Grounds baristas and counter staff, and eventually taking drive thru orders and delivering drinks.

As job coach April shared, “Gabe has shown such growth, is so much more self-confident, and is working more and more independently. He follows directions, works well with staff, and works so hard! I am so proud of him!” And that is exactly what we want for all of our Career Center students and why the Special Grounds Coffee Shop was opened and developed…to help our students learn vocational skills and become more and more independent.

The second layer of the espresso is the body. It is the middle of the drink and offers espresso its strength just like the kitchen provides the heavy lifting for the Special Grounds Coffee Shop. The kitchen is the center of activity for the coffee shop and is where all of the delicious treats, breakfast burritos, tasty sandwiches, and fresh salads are made or baked.

Senior Tyler Davidoff is the latest Career Center student to join the kitchen crew. Job trainer Renate Benjamin directs, leads, coaches, and encourages many of our Career Center students, who want to learn aspects of food prep and bakery skills to use in their communities, restaurants, and businesses once they graduate New Horizons Academy. The Career Center Kitchen Crew includes Luke Chambers, Hannah Engler, Cierra Flores and Syndel Barker. All of these are learning so much during their kitchen work study program.

Job trainer Renate shared, “In a short time, Tyler has fit in with the rest of the student kitchen staff at Special Grounds Coffee Shop. With Tyler’s wittiness and willingness, I see Tyler accomplishing many things in his life! Tyler has volunteered numerous times in the kitchen when staff was short-handed. Since his very first day, Tyler has done a wonderful job. He follows directions in the kitchen, follows a recipe, and always asks, ‘What’s next?’”

Tyler is great with his hands. He enjoys pitching in and learning new skills. He learned that customer service was not his favorite aspect of the Special Grounds Coffee Shop…the kitchen was! He found the place at the Career Center where he feels the most comfortable, confident, and at home. And that is exactly what we want for all of our Career Center students and why the Special Grounds Coffee Shop was opened and developed…to help our students find their way, their strengths, and future job and career possibilities.

The third and final layer of the espresso is the heart just as the roastery is the heart of Special Grounds’ coffee business. From roasting, flavoring, product development, packaging, labeling and shipping, the entire cafe centers around our roastery. John Suess and Kayla Rowe roast and blend all of the coffee at Special Grounds. They, along with our Product Development Manager, Trishelle Suess, work closely with our third senior Noah Nagel weighing, bagging, and labeling all of Special Grounds’ retail orders, wholesale orders and special fundraising coffee drives. In the mornings, Noah works with the roastery team to learn the heart of the coffee business. In the afternoon, Noah works part-time behind the counter as a barista and paid coffee shop worker. He has learned the customer service aspects of Special Grounds Coffee, the kitchen work, and is now expanding his horizons in the roasting, flavoring and packaging rooms.

According to Murphy, “Noah has gone above and beyond. He is sought after and fought over between the kitchen and bagging and roasting rooms, He has worked additional shifts in the kitchen, so his classmates could participate in Fall Fest and Fire Safety Day. He communicates well with staff and provides peer support to at least three other students. He has a heart of gold and loves to make and share his treats.”

And that is exactly what we want for all of our Career Center students and why the Special Grounds Coffee Shop was opened and developed…to help our students expand their horizons, develop their leadership skills and potential, and share their caring, compassion, and support with others.

Three really is the magic number for the NHA Career Center and Special Grounds Coffee Shop…crema—Gabe, body—Tyler and heart—Noah!

For more information on Special Grounds Coffee, to explore our menu, to order our freshly roasted and blended coffees right from Wauseon, Ohio, or to learn more about our vocational Career Center opportunities, stop in and see our students at 845 S. Shoop Avenue or log onto our website at

Holistic Ovarian Cancer Care

Holistic Ovarian Cancer Care

The American Cancer Society estimates that nearly 20,000 new cases of ovarian cancer will be diagnosed in the United States this year. Ovarian cancer is relatively rare, accounting for only about 3 percent of all cancers in women. However, ovarian cancer is currently the fifth leading cause of cancer-related deaths among women in the United States.

Ovarian cancer can be a very difficult and trying disease. It has a 47% five-year survival rate… meaning that more than half of those treated by conventional oncology do not respond favorably to the treatments. Furthermore, those patients who do enter remission are likely to be faced with a recurrent and persistent form of cancer that standardized protocols are not properly equipped to combat.

Crystal had dealt with numerous health problems since she was seven years old. Despite these issues, she had always maintained an active lifestyle. To her, life is precious and she was not willing to allow health concerns to stop her from the purpose God had for her life. In 2016, Crystal was diagnosed with ovarian cancer and had a partial hysterectomy. She refused chemotherapy as she still wanted to have children and was concerned about the possible long-term, negative effects chemo would have on her body. Instead, she started receiving high IV doses of vitamin C monthly. In March 2020, Crystal learned that the cancer had spread. Doctors scraped cancer from off of her organs and performed a complete hysterectomy.

Crystal started seeing an alternative cancer specialist in Minnesota who helped create a plan for testing, diet and nutrition. This alternative approach was aimed at discovering and treating the cancer’s root cause, not the cancer itself. While ’cause’ is usually ignored by standard oncology, the Centers for Disease Control lists numerous proven cancer causes found via laboratory studies, often post-mortem. They list a host of environmental toxins, bacteria, viruses, and numerous other organisms that can enter a cell and disrupt its replication cycle. Crystal’s plan included Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) to help with detoxification, aid in stimulating the immune system and recover health.

All of the cells in the body require oxygen to survive, even cancer cells. This fact has led to a common misconception that cancer cells thrive on oxygen and accelerate the growth of cancer, making Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy ill-suited in the treatment of cancer. Several recent studies have shown this not to be the case and confirmed that HBOT does not induce cancer growth, recurrence, or metastasis. When you have tumors in your body, they often outgrow their oxygen supply. Instead of failing to survive without enough oxygen, some cancer cells can actually thrive and even resist treatment, contributing to the further growth of the cancer.

According to these studies, low oxygen levels in a cell interrupt the activity of oxidative phosphorylation, a term for the highly efficient way that cells normally use to convert food to energy. Hypoxia, which is low oxygen levels, is present in many cancer cells, including ovarian cancers. HBOT is a great adjunctive therapy to compliment most cancer treatments. By flooding your system with concentrated oxygen in your bloodstream, HBOT can help make your cancer cells easier to kill with treatments like chemotherapy and radiation while also activating the body’s natural healing process.

Additional benefits of hyperbaric oxygen therapy for cancer treatment include:

  • Triggering the growth of new blood vessels, which increases the flow of blood and nutrients to your tissue
  • Raises Ph levels in the body, making the body more basic and less acidic
  • Boosting the performance of white blood cells to prevent infection and kill bacteria
  • Reducing pressure, swelling, or pain in the cancer site
  • Reverses the negative effects and damage caused from radiation therapy

When receiving treatment for cancer, HBOT can work in synergy with chemotherapy, radiation, and a ketogenic diet. It may also mitigate the side effects of chemotherapy and radiation and decrease the recovery time after surgical procedures. The use of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy to treat cancer side effects aims to reduce the damage to healthy tissue and blood vessels, helping the body become stronger and fight off the disease.

Her family was already familiar with HBOT as Crystal’s father had received treatments in a hyperbaric chamber in California years before to treat the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). They were aware of Sara’s Garden’s reputation as a successful alternative treatment center. She found the staff at Sara’s Garden to be very friendly, compassionate and knowledgeable. Crystal received 9 HBOT treatments at Sara’s Garden after her last surgery and another 8 treatments a few months later.

Following treatments, Crystal noticed that not only did her lungs felt stronger, she felt better overall. Small cuts on her hands healed in only a few days, where they would normally take at least a week. The effects were subtle, yet remarkable. Most importantly, her blood tests stayed on point. Her plan is to continue to come back for a few treatments each year as an annual maintenance plan to maintain her health and wellness and states that “What HBOT has done for me was so worth my time and money.”.

Ovarian cancer patients need to know about HBOT! It is vital for patients to begin treatment as soon as possible, so knowing the symptoms is crucial. A few of these symptoms include abdominal swelling, quickly feeling full, weight loss, fatigue and back pain. Women need to check with their doctor regularly and discuss any potential symptoms. Once diagnosed, any and all options must be considered, including Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy from Sara’s Garden.

No matter what you’ve been told, there is hope… for this and many other conditions. HBOT is treatment without drugs… without surgery… without pain.

Fighting Depression Post Traumatic Brain Injury

Fighting Depression Post Traumatic Brain Injury

Depression is common among Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) survivors. The risk of depression after a TBI increases whether the injury is mild, moderate, or severe. It can develop as the person starts to understand the full impact of their injury. This realization can lead to feelings of hopelessness and altered self-esteem and identity as the survivor reflects over the changes that they are facing, and may continue to face in the future.

Research shows that when people without any prior mental health concerns or history of depression suffer a Traumatic Brain Injury, their risk for depression increases significantly. Some studies suggest that the risk for developing depression following a TBI may be two to five times higher than in the rest of the population. Unfortunately, researchers have not determined specific factors that cause depression after brain injuries or when it usually starts. Some people experience depression right after their injury, while others develop it a year or more later.

Many different factors contribute to depression after TBI, and these vary a great deal from person to person. Depression may result from injury to the areas of the brain that control emotions. Changes in the levels of certain natural chemicals in the brain, called neurotransmitters, can cause depression. Depression can also arise as a person struggles to adjust to temporary or lasting disability and losses or role changes within the family and society. Some people have a higher risk for depression due to inherited genes, personal or family history, and other influences that were present before the brain injury.

Prior to suffering a TBI, Tim led a care free, easy-going life. He loved having fun and enjoying life, working full-time as an ironworker. Some of his favorite activities were riding his motorcycle and playing cards with friends. He and his girlfriend were even talking marriage.

An auto accident in June 2019 changed all that. Following the accident, Tim was hospitalized for two weeks, most of which he has absolutely no memory of. He then spent two weeks in a rehab facility recovering from his physical injuries. He remembers something not feeling right in the front part of his brain. He did not laugh and was unable to cry. Depression set in as these negative feelings began controlling his mood. He stated that, “I didn’t care about anything, even though I knew I should. I was just existing, going through the motions.”

Unfortunately for Tim, he began losing more than his emotions. He lost his girlfriend and some friends in the process when his depression began to affect his relationships as they were not able to understand his condition. He looked fine on the outside. However, Tim was anything but fine on the inside and it was shaping up to be a rough road to recovery.

Tim began experiencing memory loss. He was forgetting things that he knew he should know and remember. He began seeing a counselor and psychologist. He became frustrated with that process as he felt they just wanted to keep changing his medications. He felt like he was spinning his wheels in all his sessions. Nothing was helping.

Tim’s life reached a new low point in June 2021 when he had a close encounter with a semi-truck. Even though he avoided an accident, the emotional trauma from the event completely shook him to his core. He relapsed and suffered a bout of manic depression. He began getting in trouble with the authorities, despite having no memory of the incidences. No amount of medication was working. In fact, Tim and his family feel it was making things worse.

After struggling with these feelings for over two years, Tim’s family finally sought help from the Amen Clinic, one of the world leaders in applying brain imaging science to help people who struggle with emotional issues such as anxiety, depression, and bipolar disorder. They performed a Brain SPECT (Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography) on Tim. SPECT is a state-of-the-art brain mapping tool that can give psychiatrists more information to help their patients more effectively. SPECT is a nuclear medicine study that is proven to reliably evaluate blood flow and activity in the brain. SPECT allows physicians to look deep inside the brain to observe three things: areas of the brain that work well, areas of the brain that work too hard, and areas of the brain that do not work hard enough. Following the SPECT, it was suggested that Tim would benefit from Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy.

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) has been proven to reduce cerebral edema, reduce neuro-inflammation, increases oxygen saturation to the brain, promote new blood vessel growth, reactivate idling neurons and can create an 8-fold increase in your own stem cell production. In a hyperbaric chamber, the influx of oxygen helps increase blood flow and expedites cellular repair naturally. SPECT scans show that people who have had HBOT have marked improvement in blood flow to the brain.

By giving the body what it needs to thrive – and taking away other natural pollutants for the short time – the brain experiences reduced irritability, impulsivity, and mood swings while many patients notice an increase in uplifting emotions, motor function, and IQ. In other words, HBOT addresses the root cause of anxiety and depression.

Midway through his initial round of HBOT treatments, Tim and his family began seeing benefits. He began talking more clearly and his motivation and interest in activities began to increase. He started participating in physical activity again, walking 2-3 miles with him mom every day. Since completing treatments, Tim has been able to return to the work he loved as an iron worker. Tim has been able to reduce his medications and replace them with more natural vitamin options that don’t leave him feeling so disconnected. He is so thankful to oxygen treatments at Sara’s Garden for helping aid him in his recovery.

No matter what you’ve been told, there is hope… for this and many other conditions. HBOT is treatment without drugs… without surgery… without pain.

A COVID-19 Long Hauler Journey with HBOT

A COVID-19 Long Hauler Journey with HBOT

Most people who have had COVID-19 recover completely within a few weeks. But some people, even those who had mild versions of the disease, continue to experience symptoms long after their initial recovery. These people, given the name “Long Haulers”, have in theory recovered from the worst impacts of COVID-19. However, they continue to experience symptoms.

Researchers estimate about 10% of COVID-19 patients become long haulers. Older people and people with many serious medical conditions are the most likely to experience lingering COVID-19 symptoms. However, even young, otherwise healthy people can feel negative effects for weeks to months after infection. This condition has been seen in people who were hospitalized with COVID-19 as well as people with very mild symptoms. There seems to be no consistent reason for this to happen.

Although COVID-19 is seen as a disease that primarily affects the lungs, it can also damage many other organs, including the heart, kidneys and the brain. Organ damage may lead to health complications that linger after the original COVID-19 illness. In some people, lasting health effects may include long-term breathing problems, heart complications, chronic kidney impairment, stroke and Gullain-Barré Syndrome, an inflammatory condition characterized by the rapid onset of numbness, weakness, and often paralysis.

The list of long hauler symptoms is long, wide and inconsistent. For some people, the lasting coronavirus symptoms are nothing like the original symptoms when they were first infected with COVID-19. The most common long hauler symptoms include: coughing, ongoing, sometimes debilitating, fatigue, body aches, joint pain, shortness of breath, loss of taste and smell (even if this didn’t occur during the height of illness), difficulty sleeping, headaches and brain fog. Brain fog is among the most confusing symptoms for long haulers. Clients report being unusually forgetful, confused or unable to concentrate even enough to watch TV.

Rex was a typical 55-year-old male. Before contracting COVID, he had no prior health issues other than high blood pressure and cholesterol. He worked and performed tasks very much like he had his whole life. He took care of his home and small farm without any help or special considerations. According to Rex, “Before COVID, I lived a very boring and happy life.”

Rex’s long hauler journey began when he contracted COVID in September of 2021. He spent nineteen days in the hospital, some of those days on 55 liters of high flow oxygen. When Rex was discharged from the hospital in October, he still needed to have an oxygen tank and was on five liters of oxygen.  He felt like he was a hostage in his own home, limited to the 50 feet of hose. His pulmonologist told him that he had lung fibrosis and scarring and would most likely be on oxygen for the rest of his life. He was told there was a possibility he would not be able to ever work again.

Although treatment options are being explored every day, many patients with lingering COVID-19 symptoms are having to be patient and wait until their symptoms get better with time. In addition to the oxygen, Rex was on a blood thinner and steroids. Unfortunately, Rex did not see much progress. Doctors suggested it would take anywhere from three months to a year before he noticed any improvement. This was their “best case scenario.”

Rex had learned about Sara’s Garden years before, but never gave a thought to how HBOT could benefit his condition until his wife mentioned it after he was released from the hospital. He hadn’t considered that hyperbaric oxygen therapy could be used as an effective form of treatment for lingering COVID-19 symptoms due to its ability to reverse hypoxia, reduce neuro-inflammation, and improve tissue oxygenation. Rex did some investigating online and decided to call and ask a few questions. He figured HBOT was worth a shot because he was not healing as fast as he wanted to.

Rex describes his experience, “I know that it might sound unbelievable, but after the third shallow dive session, I noticed that I could take deeper breaths.  After the first week, I began to notice that my stamina was improving. Things like taking a shower or walking out to get the mail did not require as much effort and I was not as exhausted after.”

Rex began noticing things almost immediately. He had increased stamina and was seeing increased oxygen levels on his pulse ox meter. He was able to start going up and down the basement stairs without stopping three or four times to catch his breath. He had more energy and didn’t have to think about the next breath he was going to take. He also noticed that his recovery time was considerably less after physical activity.

After his second week of treatment, Rex had a follow-up CT scan. The pulmonologist stated that he saw improvement in Rex’s test results that he could not fully explain. “He told me to continue doing whatever I was doing, because it was working.”

Rex feels so much better after receiving HBOT treatments at Sara’s Garden. The greatest benefit Rex feels he received from HBOT, is that he no longer has to concentrate on every breath he needs to take. “I mentioned to my wife the other evening that I had gone for a walk, straightened up the garage, finished doing a load of laundry and watched two episodes of The Andy Griffith show and I had not thought about breathing once.” This is such a huge relief to Rex. Before HBOT, the stress of breathing was constantly on his mind. He was always worried whether he would be able to get enough oxygen to get out of his chair. Rex is so thankful that he decided to try hyperbaric oxygen therapy at Sara’s Garden.

According to Rex, “I was so impressed by the professionalism and kindness I was shown by everyone at Sara’s Garden. From the website, to the first phone call I made, to the treatments themselves, everyone has been helpful and kind to me and the others that were seeking treatment. The facility is welcoming and very clean. It is definitely maintained and cared for by people who take pride in their workplace and it made me feel confident that I was in good hands.”

At Sara’s Garden, we are treating more and more clients with lingering COVID-19 symptoms each day. Our clients, like Rex, are dramatically reducing or even eliminating their long hauler COVID-19 symptoms. No matter what you’ve been told, there is hope… for this and many other conditions. HBOT is treatment without drugs… without surgery… without pain.

Vocational Training That Works!

Vocational Training That Works!

Thanksgiving is the time of year where we appreciate the people, programs, and organizations that have touched our lives, supported our families, and helped our students to succeed! This year, we are so grateful for Shalian (Shali) McCarley and want to celebrate her accomplishments and appreciate all of the New Horizons Academy (NHA), Career Center, and Special Grounds Coffee staff for helping her to become more confident, independent, and a part of the world of work.

Over five years ago, Shali and her parents, Jack and Sharon McCarley, came to NHA looking for a supportive, special education school environment where she could gain confidence, find her voice, develop work skills, and feel valued and appreciated. According to one of her high school teachers, Ms. Kara Behnfeldt, that is exactly what Shali found. “She grew in confidence; and she developed people skills, as well as, being able to express her thoughts and feelings. Shali thrived in a one-on-one, quiet, supportive classroom environment, where she felt valued.” At NHA, Shali felt that she learned “how to get along with people,” which helped prepare her for her new retail job at Walmart in Napoleon.

Shali may have improved her communication skills and work skills while at NHA and its Career Center; but as Ms. Kara recognized, “Shali is a hard worker who strives to do the best she can.” And she does it through humor and with a smile on her face. “I loved seeing and hearing Shali laugh. When she did, it was always pure joy.” Shali agreed that one of her favorite memories was of one of her classmates making her and her other Career Center classmates laugh all the time.

That laughter continued this fall through the Special Grounds Coffee Shop. After socially graduating last May, Shali returned to the Career Center to bake for the coffee shop. Her favorite thing to make was the breakfast burritos, which her job coach Ms. Renate Benjamin made the work fun and exciting. “During the burrito making, we made up a song called, The Burrito Song. One of my favorite memories is Shali telling me in fun, ‘Ms. Renate, Please don’t sing the burrito song any more’ with a huge smile on her face and laughing as hard as she could.”

The Burrito Song is just one example of the fun, educational tools used to help Shali and her Career Center classmates and coffee shop co-workers “learn how to follow a recipe and measure ingredients in grams and ounces,” shared Renate. Through her work study at the Special Grounds Coffee Shop, “Shali also learned to be part of a team and gained a lot of confidence.”

In addition to breakfast burritos, Shali also learned how to make oatmeal sandwich cookies, chocolate chip cookies, peanut butter cookies, and yogurt parfaits with fresh fruit and homemade granola; but her all-time favorite coffee shop treat is of course the huge, ooey gooey chocolate chip cookies. Stop by the Special Grounds Coffee Shop, and try one for yourself. They are great with coffee or hot chocolate!

The Special Grounds Coffee Shop and the Career Center Skills Labs offered Shali the chance to practice her communication, social, customer service, and other work-related and vocational skills needed to be successful at her new retail position. They and her job coach also helped allay her fears and reduce her anxieties about starting a new job. Initially, Shali was worried “about being able to do everything the job required,” and now, she is able to enjoy “making new friends.”

Shali has just joined the world of work, and she still has a whole lot of dreams for her future. She wants to “try new things like photography, modeling, and learning more about fashion.” Ms. Kara and the rest of the NHA staff are just so proud of her and “wish her a life of happiness and confidence in whatever she chooses to do and hope she stays in touch.”

This Thanksgiving season, we want to join with Ms. Kara in congratulating Shali on her new job opportunity and celebrate how far she has truly come in making her dreams of independence come true! We also want to take a moment and thank all of the Special Grounds Coffee Shop, NHA, and Career Center teachers, staff, and job coaches for helping Shali to become more confident, independent, and a part of the world of work.

This holiday season, please stop by the Special Grounds Coffee Shop, and celebrate the accomplishments of Shali and our other special needs students! Thank our staff for everything they do to help our students’ dreams come true and for helping them to become as independent as they can possibly be. Remember that all of the proceeds of Special Grounds Coffee support the vocational skills and work study needs of our special needs students.

If you are looking for a caring school environment for your special needs student, an individualized vocational-based program for your high schooler, a Summer Camp where your middle school or high school student can gain valuable work study skills, or a place where your special needs student can grow, thrive, and become as independent as he or she possibly can, then please consider calling us at 419-335-7272 to set up a tour of our Career Center or NHA school campuses in Wauseon or Springfield. New Horizons Academy…Where Kids Come First!

Special Grounds Coffee Co. was born out of a desire to provide a meaningful vocational experience to individuals with disabilities by creating delicious, high quality products and a welcoming environment. For more information on Special Grounds Coffee, to explore our menu, or to order our freshly roasted and blended coffees right from Wauseon, Ohio, stop into our cafe and see us at 845 S. Shoop Avenue or log onto to order online. Special Grounds Coffee… Hope Brews Here. Changing Lives One Cup at a Time.

Even Small Injuries Can Lead to Big Problems

Even Small Injuries Can Lead to Big Problems

It has been said that little problems often become big problems if you don’t take the initiative to correct them. Unfortunately, when it comes to our bodies and injuries, little injuries can lead to big problems even when we take the initiative to correct them. There are times when complications from surgery can lead to even bigger issues than what the original surgery was even attempting to fix.

Andrew enlisted in the Army after graduating from Wauseon High School and was assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 2-504 Parachute Infantry Regiment, Charlie Company, 3rd Platoon. Andrew found great fulfillment serving his country and his hard work paid off as he was recognized for his initiative and efforts and promoted to serve as Team Leader and Squad Designated Marksman in his division. While preparing to go through selection for Special Forces he suffered what he thought to be at the time, a minor setback when a pilonidal cyst formed on his tailbone.

A pilonidal cyst is an abnormal pocket in the skin that usually contains hair and skin debris. It is almost always located near the tailbone at the top of the cleft of the buttocks. Pilonidal cysts usually occur when hair punctures the skin and becomes embedded. If a pilonidal cyst becomes infected, the resulting abscess is often extremely painful. The cyst can be drained through a small incision or removed surgically.

Andrew’s seemingly harmless cyst did indeed become infected and started causing significant pain. When the cyst continued to grow, doctors advised Andrew that an operation was necessary to prevent it from getting worse. So, on November 2, 2015, Andrew underwent surgery at Fort Bragg to remove the cyst.

The resulting surgical wound needed to be packed and cleaned daily by a wound care team at the hospital. When a wound is deep, or when it tunnels under the skin, packing the wound can help it heal. The packing material soaks up any drainage from the wound, which helps the tissues heal from the inside out. Without the packing, the wound could close at the top. This would trap fluid and possibly bacteria in the deeper areas of the wound, impede healing, and lead to infection. Andrew was forced to wait for the wound cavity to heal before he could resume selection training.

After a month, Andrew’s wound had still not healed. His doctors stopped treating him because the healing time was taking longer than expected. They simply gave him a bag of supplies, instructed him to pack the wound himself and told Andrew to follow up with them in three months.

Not only did the wound not heal, it became infected and started causing Andrew incredible pain. On December 14, 2015 doctors surgically reopened the wound site to remove the infection, resulting in an even larger wound cavity, over 1 in. deep, 2 cm. long and 1 cm. wide.

Andrew was not about to endure another “wait and see” healing period. Thankfully, Andrew had received Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy at Sara’s Garden back when he was in high school recovering from a stress fracture in his foot. He remembered how it had helped to speed up his healing process then and believed it could help him once again.

As soon as his surgery was over, Andrew left Fort Bragg and headed home to Wauseon to start hyperbaric treatments at Sara’s Garden. The high concentration of oxygen at increased pressure allowed Andrew to increase his healing efficiency. After only a few days, his pain level was significantly reduced and could feel the infection begin to subside. Over the course of the next three weeks, Andrew received 16 HBOT treatments. With the help of the Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy, Andrew was able to beat the infection and successfully close the wound that he had been dealing with for the past two months.

Andrew felt grateful to have been able to finally heal and get back to his previous level of operation. He stated that he was pain free and had a renewed confidence to return and complete his military operations. Andrew went on to deploy with the 82nd to Helmand Province, Afghanistan. Without hyperbaric treatments at Sara’s Garden, Andrew is convinced that his infection and wound would have continued to deteriorate due to the lack of care he was receiving from the Army Medical Corps.

Andrew is now out of the Army and in his last year of a BSN-RN program. He is hoping to continue his education to the provider level and is looking for an opportunity to provide health services to people in need such as veterans or individuals with special needs.

No matter what you’ve been told, there is hope… for this and many other conditions. HBOT is treatment without drugs… without surgery… without pain.

Overcoming the Downward Spiral of Anxiety & Depression

Overcoming the Downward Spiral of Anxiety & Depression

Anxiety is a normal and healthy emotion all people experience. It’s a normal response to stressful situations and signals us to be alert and ready for impending danger. Depression is different from anxiety. Rather than feeling anxious and nervous, feelings of gloom and melancholy take center stage. Feeling sad or down after experiencing a loss or disappointment is normal, and everyone feels anxious from time to time. However, severe or ongoing feelings of depression and anxiety that interfere with life functions can be a sign of an underlying mental health disorder.

In the U.S. the most common approach to treating anxiety and depression involves using potent medications, called anxiolytics, such as benzodiazepines and barbiturates. Sadly, for many, these medications can actually increase anxiety over the course of time. While counseling and psychological therapy can address less severe forms of anxiety, they do not address the root cause of underlying brain imbalances.

So, what are the root causes of anxiety and depression? Recent advances in neuroscience reveal the root causes include a lack of blood flow and oxygen to the brain, lack of specific brain chemicals, and brainwave imbalances. Inside the brain, we have billions of brain cells, called neurons, sending electrical signals to each other, which we measure as brainwaves. These electrical signals cause the brain cells to release small chemicals called neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, dopamine, and adrenaline.

This vast network of brain cells is fed with oxygen and other nutrients by blood from over 100,000 miles of blood vessels inside the brain. In children and adults with anxiety, studies show there are often not enough of these blood vessels supplying oxygen and important nutrients. This lack of nutrients begins to cause brainwave imbalances, as measured by an EEG scan. People with anxiety typically have too much brainwave activity on the right side of their brain, usually in the temporal lobe of the brain.

This, in turn, causes a downstream effect on brain chemicals called neurotransmitters, meaning that the brain cells start producing too little or too much of the chemicals they need. People with anxiety are usually deficient in serotonin and GABA neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitter imbalances are further exacerbated by nutritional deficiencies in the person’s diet, especially of key vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and amino acids.

Adequate blood flow in the brain is vital for mental health. Brain imaging studies using SPECT scans reveal that low blood flow is commonly linked to mental health/brain health issues, such as ADD/ADHD, depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and addictions. In fact, low blood flow is the leading brain imaging predictor that an individual will develop Alzheimer’s disease.

Kyle had been living with mild forms of anxiety and depression for some time. He was taking a small dose of medication to treat his disorder. It was manageable. He was hanging out with his friends, playing music, and finding joy in the hobbies and activities he was participating in.

Things changed for Kyle when he tried a treatment for depression called Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS). Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is a noninvasive procedure that uses magnetic fields to stimulate nerve cells in the brain in hopes to improve symptoms of depression. It’s thought to activate regions of the brain that have decreased activity in depression. Unfortunately for Kyle, it made his symptoms worse. After TMS, his depression and anxiety became unmanageable and debilitating. He no longer wanted to interact with friends or take part in any activities.

Kyle’s life became a dangerous circle of worsening feelings and increasing medications. He felt like he was spiraling out of control with no end in sight. Thankfully, he found Sara’s Garden and hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) while researching natural treatment options in hopes of breaking his never-ending cycle of medications.

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) has been proven to reduce cerebral edema, reduce neuro-inflammation, increases oxygen saturation to the brain, promote new blood vessel growth, reactivate idling neurons and can create an 8-fold increase in your own stem cell production. In a hyperbaric chamber, the influx of oxygen helps increase blood flow and expedites cellular repair naturally. SPECT scans show that people who have had HBOT have marked improvement in blood flow to the brain.

By giving the body what it needs to thrive – and taking away other natural pollutants for the short time – the brain experiences reduced irritability, impulsivity, and mood swings while many patients notice an increase in uplifting emotions, motor function, and IQ. In other words, HBOT addresses the root cause of anxiety and depression.

Following his first 40 sessions of HBOT, Kyle noticed an increase in cognitive function and felt more optimism. He became more motivated to be around people again and felt that he had fewer negative thoughts. His brain felt stronger. Kyle’s family and friends noticed the changes too. He heard many comments from those around him that he was returning to his old self.

Kyle feels much better now. It’s an ongoing process. He can’t say that his depression and anxiety are completely gone, but he is now able to handle it better. Problems that once seemed impossible to overcome now seem doable. Kyle is so thankful to the entire staff at Sara’s Garden for being so helpful and understanding and having a heart for helping others.

No matter what you’ve been told, there is hope… for this and many other conditions. HBOT is treatment without drugs… without surgery… without pain.