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 SpecialGroundsCoffee.com 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.

Whenever There is Help, There is Hope

Whenever There is Help, There is Hope

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a lifelong neurodevelopmental condition. Each individual with autism has unique strengths and challenges, which can include difficulty with social interaction, repetitive behaviors, speech and nonverbal communication. Autism is known as a “spectrum” disorder because there is wide variation in the type and severity of symptoms people that experience. Autism can manifest itself in a number of ways, so it can be tricky to diagnosis. It’s very difficult to draw narrow boundaries around the condition and say, “This is what an autistic child looks like.” This much we do know; Autism is a neurological condition that impacts at least 1.5 million kids (and growing) in this country alone.

The number of children in the United States diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) has increased dramatically in recent years. In 2020, the CDC reported that numbers had risen from 1 in 150 in 2000, to 1 in 88 in 2008, to 1 in 54 according to the latest 2016 data. Boys are four times more likely to be diagnosed with autism as girls. Most professionals who specialize in diagnosing the disorder won’t attempt to make a definite diagnosis until 18 months even if a child is exhibiting many symptoms of the condition. This is because symptoms of autism can continue to emerge, or fade away, until around 24 months when they say that an autism diagnosis tends to become “stable.”

Joseph was one such child. At a very young age, Joseph’s family noticed things about him that set him apart from other children his age. He made very little eye contact. He did not bond or play with others. He seemed to be in his own little world. He did not meet his milestones, such as crawling, walking and talking as he should. They always felt in their hearts that there was something a little unique about Joseph and the way he did things.

Joseph was tested for autism when he was three years old. He was diagnosed with autism and ADHD. Needless to say, the diagnosis did not come as a surprise to his family. Thankfully, they viewed the diagnosis as a blessing, not a curse or a sentence as they now knew what they were dealing with. Studies show that early intervention affords the best opportunity to support healthy development and deliver benefits to individuals with autism. Joseph’s family was able to enroll him in speech, physical and occupational therapy in hopes of providing him with the best possible interventions to support his development.

For Joseph, it was difficult controlling his emotions and body. It was hard for him to focus and he was very sensitive to his surroundings. Large crowds and loud noises tended to increase his anxiety. Joseph struggled socially as well, not wanting to make eye contact or engage in conversation. Joseph took medication to help with these issues. When Joseph is focused and calm, it is much easier for him to play with peers and converse with others. While the medication helped, his family longed to see even more improvements.

Unfortunately, traditional medicines have often failed at producing desired results for many individuals with autism and their families. Because of this, more and more parents have turned to alternative forms of treatment, not to cure, but to counteract the underlying symptoms of autism. Studies have demonstrated hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) as one such emerging treatment that parents and physicians are utilizing to help ameliorate the effects of ASD. In their search for possible treatment options for Joseph, his family discovered HBOT and Sara’s Garden.

So, what is HBOT and why does it help alleviate symptoms in children with ASD? The exact reasons it helps children with ASD are still being researched, however, there are some clear correlations one can observe in the current research. By saturating the circulatory system with oxygen, resulting in an increase in oxygen to tissues, HBOT removes toxins, such as heavy metals from the body. It reduces inflammation allowing oxygen-deprived areas to have a return of blood flow. It builds new capillaries in the brain and stimulates stem cell growth and mobilization.

Joseph’s family noticed so many great benefits in Joseph. They even noticed some things they didn’t know they would see! He was able to be taken off some of his ADHD medicines… and has been able to stay off them! His focus on his school work is so much better since coming to Sara’s Garden. Joseph used to be a constant sleep walker. His family is thrilled to find that is no longer a problem. He is a wonderful sleeper and also now has a great appetite as well. Previously, Joseph was very secluded, shy and quiet. He had a hard time making eye contact and handling proper social queues. His family was thrilled to see Joseph smiling and talking more, wanting to be more social and expressing interest in others. To them, he is now just happier and calmer when he is around other people.

Whenever there is help, there is hope. Joseph’s family is so thankful to have found that hope for Joseph at Sara’s Garden and are pleased that the treatments have helped him the way they have! They are so grateful that the caring staff at Sara’s Garden has really gotten to know Joseph and made their time here feel like a home away from home!

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.

Hall-of-Famer Says Treatment is Curing Disabling Effects of Concussions

Hall-of-Famer Says Treatment is Curing Disabling Effects of Concussions

by Duane Pohlman, WKRC

CINCINNATI (WKRC) – National Football League (NFL) statistics reveal its players suffered nearly 2,000 concussions from 2012 to 2019. Even with new concussion protocols designed to protect today’s players from further damage, neurologists say many of those players could be left with lifelong damage to their brains.

This Spotlight on America report is part of our continuing examination of hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT), which a growing number of players and experts claim can reverse damage to brains caused by concussive blows.

A LEGEND WITH A NEW LEASE ON LIFE

On a field overlooking the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, where his bust is enshrined inside, Dave Robinson, a legendary former linebacker for the Green Bay Packers, talked about the therapy he claims has given him a new lease on life.

“I feel good,” Robinson exclaimed with a smile.

The 79-year-old says he has more energy too. It’s a far cry from the worries Robinson expressed in December at a Pro Football Retired Players Association board meeting in Arlington, Virginia.

“I don’t want to get to that point where I don’t’ recognize my friends,” Robinson said, explaining his memory had become murky while he battled sleeplessness and bouts of agitation.

Robinson blames his brain issues on countless concussions he received while playing in brutal games, including leading his beloved Packers to victory in the first two Super Bowls.

When asked how many concussions he received on the field during his years of glory, Robinson didn’t hesitate with his answer.

“Oh! More than you have fingers and toes,” he exclaimed, noting later that he suffered serious blows to the head in most games.

But now, for the first time in decades, Robinson says his mind is clearing and his memories are coming back, crediting it all to the HBOT he received.

“DIVING” INTO HBOT

Because HBOT was originally developed to treat divers who suffered from a buildup of nitrous oxygen in their blood, commonly referred to as “the bends,” each treatment is called a “dive.”

“I did 40 dives,” Robinson explained, talking about his treatment in May and June in a big purple hyperbaric chamber at Sara’s Garden, a clinic in the small northwestern Ohio city of Wauseon, which is just hours from his home in Akron.

During these dives, Robinson was fitted with an oxygen hood and sat down in the sealed chamber while it delivered100% oxygen under pressure. According to HBOT experts, this simple process delivers pure oxygen through the lungs to all parts of the body, including damaged sections of the brain.

MRI images attached to several studies reveal dormant sections of wounded and damaged brains light up with new brain activity after patients receive HBOT.

IMPLICATIONS FOR TREATING CTE

Forty scientific studies have revealed HBOT does heal wounded brains, which could be a game-changer for former players suffering from chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a degenerative brain condition that has plagued former NFL Players.

In 2017, a team of doctors and scientists examined the brains 111 former NFL players, including Junior Seau, Ken Stabler and Frank Gifford, and found 110 of them had CTE.

Yet the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which approves HBOT for 14 conditions, does not approve HBOT for treating brain injuries, citing a lack of rigorous, clinical studies to prove it works, which brings us back to that Pro Football Retired Players Association board meeting in December.

Robinson and some of the greats of the game, Darrel Thompson, Billy Joe Dupree, Mike Haynes, Ron Mix, Mike Singletary, Jackie Slater and Jack Youngblood, all said they were suffering from the effects of concussions they received when they played football. Jim Brown was not in attendance.

Led by PFRPA’s executive director and CEO Bob Schmidt, the board voted to undergo HBOT themselves to truly see if it works.

“We’re going to use our retired players to really bring this issue forward,” Schmidt explained, saying he believes PFRPA can help bring HBOT to all players and even to military veterans who suffer from wounded brains.

Robinson is the first board member to undergo the full treatments and says it truly worked. Now, this Hall-of-Famer, who is already enshrined inside the hallowed hall in Canton, says he has one more run at another legacy: proving HBOT really works at curing the damage from concussions that have long plagued football players.

“I hope when I’m a 100 I still have my memories, I still have my faculties and can still move around and can tell people I owe it all to HBOT,” Robinson said with a smile moving across his face.

Read the original article from Local 12 WKRC HERE and repost from Pro Football Retired Players Association HERE.

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.

Burn Relief Through HBOT

Burn Relief Through HBOT

Would you run into a burning building when every instinct and impulse firing in your brain is telling you something else? There are many times that people are presented with this seemingly unanswerable question… a conflict between what we can possibly save and what we are risking to lose.

Sunday, March 29th is a day that Clayton and his family will never forget. Clayton noticed smoke coming from the barn that housed dairy goats his daughters were raising for their 4H projects. Upon seeing the smoke, he ran to the barn to investigate. Unfortunately, when he opened the barn door, the rush of air caused the smoldering straw to ignite.

Despite the potential danger, Clayton ran into the burning barn multiple times in an attempt to save as many of the goats as possible. He was able to save three baby and two adult goats before deciding it was too dangerous to continue going back into the barn. Unfortunately, other than the five goats he was able to save, the barn, the remaining goats and all of its contents were a complete loss.

When the paramedics arrived on the scene, they determined that Clayton was in urgent need of medical attention. Because he had inhaled smoke and breathed in the heat of the fire, the paramedics proceeded to sedate and intubate him for fear that the damage to his trachea and lungs would cause severe swelling and restrict his breathing, causing his airway to fail. They also determined that he had sustained numerous 2nd and 3rd degree burns on his face, neck, head, fingers, hands and right knee. Life Flight was called to the scene and Clayton was rushed to the hospital.

The burns were so severe that Clayton was unable to perform any daily activities or care for himself. His wife became his caregiver following his return home from the hospital. Twice a day, the burns required scraping, cleaning and dressing changes to avoid contracting any infections. The injuries were extremely painful and required special compression garments.

Fortunately, Clayton was able to begin hyperbaric treatments at Sara’s Garden immediately following his release from the hospital. Initially, the treatments were very painful and Clayton questioned whether he would be able to do a full series of treatments. The severity of his burns made him extremely sensitive to temperature changes and heat intolerance. Being in the chamber for extended periods of time was difficult for him to tolerate. Clayton was very thankful at how much effort the staff made to help him relieve his pain and discomfort by packing him with ice bags to cool him down.

Within several weeks of treatment, new skin growth began to appear. The doctors at the burn clinic would comment about how quickly Clayton was healing and remark that he was progressing much more rapidly than they would have anticipated. They were thrilled that Clayton was displaying an accelerated healing process, had a reduction in noticeable scar tissue, and was seeing a quicker return to more normal skin pigment.

Clayton often hears comments from people who saw him at my worst right after the accident. They marvel at how well his healing went. When he tells his story and explains his burns and everything he went through, many people say that his scars and burns are not very noticeable and that if he hadn’t said anything they would not have even noticed.

Clayton and his family are extremely thankful for all the prayers and support they received following his accident. They are eternally grateful that their community of friends and church stepped up to assist with the costs of treatment. They know that God works things out according to his plan and believe he used the great staff and facility of Sara’s Garden to provide the healing he so desperately needed during that time. They know it would be impossible to thank everyone who played a role in providing care and support to their family during that time.

Thanks to the healing power of the great physician, Jesus Christ and Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy at Sara’s Garden, Clayton has his life back. 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.

Challenges Accepted. Challenges Overcome.

Challenges Accepted. Challenges Overcome.

In every cell in the human body there is a nucleus, where genetic material is stored in genes. Genes carry the codes responsible for all of our inherited traits and are grouped along rod-like structures called chromosomes. Typically, the nucleus of each cell contains 23 pairs of chromosomes, half of which are inherited from each parent. Down Syndrome occurs when an individual has a full or partial extra copy of chromosome 21. A medical term for having an extra copy of a chromosome is ‘trisomy.’ Down Syndrome is also referred to as Trisomy 21.

This extra chromosome 21 leads to the physical features and traits that can occur among individuals with Down Syndrome. It changes how the baby’s body and brain develop, which can cause both mental and physical challenges. Researchers know that Down Syndrome is caused by an extra chromosome, but no one knows for sure why Down Syndrome occurs or how many different factors play a role.

Brendan’s Down Syndrome diagnosis at birth came as a surprise to his parents; nothing in his mom’s ultrasounds during her pregnancy suggested the possibility of Trisomy 21. Their initial reaction was naturally to be scared and overwhelmed. However, they were able to see him for him, and the diagnosis quickly turned into something they absolutely loved about him. While Down Syndrome may be an irrevocable factor in the equation of Brendan’s life, it does not adequately define who he is, what challenges he will or won’t overcome, or predict who he will become.

As with many children born with Down Syndrome, Brendan had developmental delays in speech, fine and gross motor skills and experienced sensory issues. Additionally, Brendan had a few health problems early on that also led to delays in his development. His family worked hard to put Brendan in programs and therapies that would help with his development and increase his chances for independence. From an early age, he was in speech therapy, occupational and physical therapy. He also did hippotherapy (horseback riding) to strengthen his core muscles due to low muscle tone. All of these therapies were instrumental tools in overcoming early challenges in Brendan’s development.

When it came time to send Brendan to school, his family was faced with a new challenge. Where should they send him? Some children with special learning needs can experience difficulties in school, ranging from physical differences, problems with concentration, learning, speech, language, and perception to problems with behavior and/or making and keeping friends. All children need to feel a sense of belonging in ways that elicit positive responses from those around them. Sometimes, a child with special needs can alienate themselves from others when attempting to have their unique requirements met. This can result in the child feeling even more isolated.

Even though they lived in Toledo, Brendan’s mom worked near the New Horizons Academy campus in Wauseon and had heard many positive things about the school. After touring the facility and meeting with the staff they knew this was where they wanted Brendan to attend school. They were impressed, knowing there was so much that NHA had to offer their son. They decided to move forward with applying to NHA’s new campus location in Springfield.

It didn’t take long for Brendan’s family to begin seeing positive results. Within the first couple of weeks, they started observing noticeable improvement in everything from Brendan’s communication, motors skills, social skills, and even using the bathroom. They were amazed that they were noticing progression in all aspects of his development… and continue to do so.

Brendan is communicating his wants and needs much more than ever before. He is forming multi-word communication and using his manners so well. He has become more independent at home and in social environments. The friendships that Brendan has made have been key to him being willing to help, share and play with others. Brendan’s family has been extremely excited because they see the benefits first hand. They have repeatedly made comments about how there has been such a difference in Brendan and how great NHA has been for him.

Brendan’s mom stated, “We feel blessed and appreciative. Brendan has become more independent with life skills at home. We have noticed his behavior in social settings has improved and he is much more interactive. Brendan absolutely loves his school. He looks forward to going everyday! We are so thankful that this opportunity has been given to Brendan.”

His teachers and therapists have noticed Brendan’s progress as well, noting that when he started at NHA, he was shy and hesitant. Quickly, he started to find his voice. He has become this outgoing, outspoken child. He has such an infectious smile and a big heart! One teacher commented, “It has been so amazing to observe Brendan and be a part of his growth this past year.” The challenges Brendan has overcome and strides forward he has made in this short amount of time is so exciting and his family very is confident that, based on what they’ve seen so far, this will continue.

No matter what you have been told, there is hope. Hope for a child to emerge into the independent adults we as parents pray for. There is hope for those who were told they would not learn, or walk, or talk. That hope, is rekindled through the work that is happening at New Horizons Academy. The loving, caring and true compassion that is shown to each and every student, no matter how difficult their condition, disability, or behavior might be, is where the success story starts.

If you are looking for a caring school environment 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 and setting up a tour of New Horizons Academy… Where kids come first!

It’s Never Too Late for HBOT

It’s Never Too Late for HBOT

Children reach developmental milestones at their own pace. Minor, temporary delays are typically no cause for alarm. However, an ongoing delay or multiple delays in reaching milestones could be a sign that something more serious is going on and there may be challenges later in life. Developmental delays may be caused by a variety of factors, including heredity, problems with pregnancy, and premature birth. Unfortunately, the cause of the delay isn’t always known.

Parents of children with autism often report difficulties or delays in their child’s early development prior to two years of age, yet diagnosis is often not made until a child is about four years of age or older. Why? Placement in early intervention programs before four years of age is thought to improve outcomes for children with autism and helps parents understand their child’s needs. Those children who receive a diagnosis of autism after four years of age may be missing crucial opportunities for early intervention.

Tommy’s family knew that something was going on with his development as an infant. They noticed he wasn’t reaching his developmental milestones, such as sitting up and walking, like his older brothers and peers did. Tommy’s pediatrician wasn’t concerned with his delays and wanted to wait to see if it was something he would grow out of. Thankfully Tommy’s parents weren’t willing to wait. They took Tommy to their county’s special education department for evaluation. Testing showed that Tommy had a brain injury which was causing his developmental delays. Because it was discovered early, Tommy was able to receive special education services and therapies throughout his toddler and preschool years. These early interventions played a vital role in helping him reach physical and educational milestones.

Despite this new found success, Tommy was still behind and facing significant social struggles. He had trouble communicating and interacting with others, would avoid trying new activities and would get very upset when his family life wasn’t kept on a schedule. He would overreact when something bad happened, such as not doing well in school, getting in trouble at home or when a sporting event didn’t go the way he wanted. It would take him a long time (sometimes hours) to let go of the negative feelings and be able to interact with his family and friends. It was disrupting his daily life. Any little thing would cause him to “retreat” into himself. As a parent, it was difficult to watch. His family was so proud that he was involved in activities, but heartbroken to see him not able to enjoy the positive experiences.

When Tommy was in middle school, he was diagnosed with autism. He was able to receive therapy that helped him understand his anxiety and taught him ways to handle his emotions. Unfortunately, the therapy didn’t prevent his negative reactions from occurring. By the time Tommy was in high school, he was still having trouble applying these techniques and continued to struggle with daily life experiences. His family wanted to help him prevent these negative feelings, rather than just react to them.

Tommy’s family discovered Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) and learned how it can be effective in treating individuals with neurological conditions and brain injuries. They wondered if HBOT could help both the physical and emotional symptoms that Tommy was struggling with. Their search for potential treatment centers led them to Sara’s Garden. They loved the caring atmosphere and knew it was a place that put the clients’ needs first. After a lot of prayer and talking with their entire family, they decided to bring Tommy for treatments when he was off school in the summer.

After only the first week, they noticed Tommy’s outlook and demeanor was improving. He was more positive and was openly talking to people about the treatments he was receiving. The improvement continued after treatments and throughout the rest of the summer. He was more willing to try new things, even activities that were physically challenging. He re-learned how to ride a bike and went canoeing in the months after his treatments. He also felt really positive about himself after both of these experiences, whereas before, he would have remained anxious even after doing something new. Overall, Tommy is now much more relaxed and confident. He is interacting more with people outside of his family, which is something he previously struggled with. He recently went to visit a college that he is interested in attending where he willingly talked to various people and was excited to learn about what the school has to offer.

His family (including his older brothers) have really noticed an improvement in his anxiety level. He still gets upset or disappointed when something negative happens, but now, they are able to talk him through the situation and within a few minutes he is able to move on. Even Tommy’s neurologist and chiropractor noticed improvement in his balance, coordination and flexibility following HBOT treatments!

Tommy’s mom stated, “We came to Sara’s Garden concerned about Tommy’s future. Now, we feel he can cope with the stresses of life. He is willing to learn and try new things and he is more comfortable interacting with the people and world around him. The staff at Sara’s Garden are amazing, caring people and made the experience a positive one for Tommy and for our family. Going every day for 4 weeks was a big commitment, but we were always welcomed with a friendly face and Tommy enjoyed the time he spent and the people he met. I’m sure this positive atmosphere enhanced his treatment process!”

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.