Toddler's brain damage reversed by treatment after near drowning

A 2-year-old from Arkansas who nearly drowned in her family's swimming pool is on the mend thanks to a type of oxygen therapy.

In February 2016, Eden Carlson broke through her baby gate and headed into the family pool. Her mother, who believed the child was safe playing with older siblings, was in the shower, WDSU News reports. Eden was found after struggling in cold water for at least 10 minutes, without a heartbeat, the station reports. She was not expected to survive, but she did.

Eden was left with severe brain damage. She couldn't speak or walk, according to a release. Her parents were told she would never talk, walk, eat on her own or react to her surroundings.

Fifty-five days after Eden's near drowning, Paul Harch of Hyperbaric Medicine at LSU Health New Orleans School of Medicine started hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Oxygen administered at sea-level pressure filled Eden's nose for 45 minutes, twice a day. Eden started hyperbaric oxygen therapy about a month later, breathing pure oxygen in a pressurized chamber, five days a week.

In May, the miraculous happened: She laughed. She moved her arms, hands and eyes. She could speak. Today, she's able to climb up stairs on a play set by herself. The new responses happened gradually, but to much surprise.

Her brain damage started to reverse — what could be a first in medical history. 

“The startling regrowth of tissue in this case occurred because we were able to intervene early in a growing child, before long-term tissue degeneration,” Harch said in a statement.

Harch and Edward Fogarty, at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine, documented her progress in a report published in Medical Gas Research.

To learn more about Eden's journey, visit Eden's Miracles on Facebook. 

Follow Ashley May on Twitter: @AshleyMayTweets

© 2017 USATODAY.COM


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