Author: Blake Powell

Emma’s Stroke Recovery Journey

Emma’s Stroke Recovery Journey

Emma and her daughter Denise first came to Oxford Recovery Center in September 2019 for a Discovery Session. Shortly thereafter, Emma did her first hyperbaric treatment, also referred to as a “dive”. Emma had suffered a stroke that severely affected her right side, made her very weak, and left her with little to no ability to speak.

After one dive in September, her right leg, which had been frozen after the stroke, straightened. Denise immediately knew HBOT was the key to advancing her mother’s ability to recover from the stroke, and she signed Emma up for 40 dives.

Over the course of Emma’s treatments, Denise saw continuous improvements. Emma’s right hand, which was very stiff and severely inflamed after the stroke, started to straighten and bend. Eventually the inflammation decreased enough that Denise could help Emma bend her fingers. Denise mentioned that one day at an appointment with Emma’s chiropractor, Emma cried out in shock because her Neuro Chiropractor had touched the right side of her face and Emma felt it for the first time in the year since her stroke.

On Christmas Eve, barely a month after starting HBOT treatments, Emma got out of bed on her own, maneuvered herself into her wheelchair, and started rolling herself down the hallway in their house.

Denise was shocked at the ever-advancing improvements in Emma’s condition, and said that ever since that day, Emma continues to get herself out of bed and into her wheelchair on her own.

After finishing the 40 dives, Denise made notes of how her mother’s condition has improved over the course of the treatments. Emma has more mental clarity, more speech in all three languages she used to speak (Arabic, Chaldean, and English), and more flexibility in her joints due to more strength and reduced inflammation. She’s able to remember and speak names again, including her daughter’s name and nickname, without any hesitation. Emma smiles and seems happier, can lift her right arm on her own, and can cross her legs without having to lift one leg over the other using her left arm as support. She even started accurately counting cars in numerical order in a neighbor’s driveway and Denise was floored; she hadn’t counted like that since before her stroke. 

After finishing HBOT, Denise and Emma returned for ORC’s Intensive Physical Therapy program using the TheraSuit Method. This physical therapy is done five days a week for three hours a day and integrates holistic, alternative methods to maximize strength building and retrain the body to use muscles correctly or activate movement the body had forgotten how to do.

Denise commented on how different our physical therapy program is compared to others that Emma has done, and how the combination of HBOT and our alternative therapies have shown more improvements over a shorter amount of time than any other therapies they have done since Emma’s stroke. 

Denise said that after they finished Emma’s first round of Intensive Physical Therapy, the clonus in her right foot disappeared. She attributes that improvement to the first hour of every therapy session, when Andrea, our Physical Therapist, would massage Emma’s body and stimulate the foot with different devices and exercises. Denise said that Emma’s Neuro Chiropractor has tried to fix the clonus but has been unsuccessful; the Intensive Physical Therapy helped it heal. 

As a team between both of our Troy and Brighton locations, it was amazing for all of us to witness Emma’s growth over the course of her two treatment periods. We saw her come out of her shell, smile, laugh, and make incredible improvements towards recovery. Denise and Emma are currently working towards coming in for a third round of therapy, and we cannot wait to see Emma continue to make progress and heal.

For more information about our approach to stroke recovery, visit oxfordrecoverycenter.com/conditions/stroke, or call us at (248) 486-3636 to schedule a FREE Discovery Session.

Janna’s Ongoing Journey

Janna’s Ongoing Journey

Janna was born with cerebral palsy. Birthing complications left Janna without oxygen for too long, leading to a CP diagnosis as a newborn baby. She started physical therapy at the age of two, and since childhood has undergone four hip surgeries.

When Janna and her grandmother, Jannice, arrived at Oxford Recovery Center, Janna couldn’t use her right leg, she had just broken her femur, and she was in too much pain to even be able to touch her leg. She always fought going to therapy because she knew it was painful and she felt like it was work.

However, Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy was miraculous for Janna. After her fourth dive, she said the pain in her leg was completely gone.

During their time at Oxford, Janna also participated in our full Cerebral Palsy program, which combines multiple therapies for a synergistic approach to recovery.

Her grandma recalls how amazing it was to see Janna with multiple therapists doing Intensive Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy, and enjoying Music Therapy–all at the same time. She says that Janna’s condition improved by leaps and bounds because of the combination of therapies and having each therapy easily accessible in the same facility. She said she experienced more improvements and accomplishments at a faster rate at ORC than she did at any of Janna’s other therapy facilities

One of the most heartwarming aspects of Janna’s story is not only the improvements with her cerebral palsy, but also the impact she had on Oxford.

Her huge smiles, even larger bows, and spunky sense of humor left all of our staff smiling at the end of every day. Janna had fun pranking her grandmother with the help of her favorite HBOT techs–Blake and Andrew.

To this day, Janna still texts and FaceTimes some of our staff members. Priya, her physical therapist, even drove down to Janna’s hometown to take her and her grandmother to see Frozen 2 when it was released. 

Janna finished her 40 dives in October of 2019, but both she and her grandmother are hoping to come back soon for another round of therapy for maintenance. Janna recently underwent another hip surgery and is again experiencing complications from the surgery.

Even Jannice benefitted from Janna’s treatments, as she went into the chamber with Janna for each dive and by the end of the 40 treatments, she said that the arthritis pain she’d had in her back for 20+ years had disappeared because of HBOT.

At Oxford, our patients mean the world to us and often become a part of our family and stay in our hearts well past their last treatment. You can still find photos of Janna on cabinet doors and on staff members’ desks throughout the center.

Photos courtesy of Janna’s grandmother, Jannice.

Soaring Butterfly Elizabeth Terry

ORC’s Soaring Butterfly Award is given in recognition of an employee’s commitment to excellence, team effort, and exemplifying our core values. Ask anyone about Elizabeth and you will very quickly learn how special she is to the staff and patients at Oxford Recovery Center. Everyone lights up when talking about how incredibly kind, caring, and dedicated Elizabeth is. She is confident in her role as a lead nurse and Director of Patient Care, and she is always a helping hand when training employees.

She has the gift of making everyone feel welcomed, respected, and valued in every interaction. From a greeting as you walk in the door to helping patients through their recovery journey—Elizabeth is always there.

She is an essential member of the ORC family, she exemplifies ORC’s model and core values, and we are truly blessed to have her.

Thank you, Elizabeth, for all that you do.

 

ORC’s Soaring Butterfly Award is given in recognition of an employee’s commitment to excellence, team effort, and exemplifying our core values.

Eli’s Story

When Eli was born, as parents we knew something wasn’t right. After searching for months with different therapies that showed no improvement, we decided to move back to Michigan to get support from family.

We knew we needed something different and the road would be a long one.  In Michigan he was enrolled in speech and feeding therapy with little improvement, he started to exhibit aggression and behavior issues.

It wasn’t until the family was introduced to Oxford Recovery Center and began its unique approach to autism did his mother hear the word “mom” for the first time.

A Mom’s Perspective

Eli was born with different issues including feeding problems.  Prior to birth, we knew he could have spina bifida. We had a lot of concerns.  We went on a whole journey, his feeding journey and the lack of development. Very early on at six months old, he started therapy in Houston after me pushing since he was three months of age.  

We relocated to be closer to family in Michigan.  Speaking with a friend, she referred me to talk to Casey after she learned that we were deliberating on getting a diagnosis for autism, should we see if that is what our answer is?  Is that what we were missing? We couldn’t get any answers to the source of what all of his issues were. He was already in a number of therapies, but he was starting to have a lot of behavior issues at that point.  He was getting close to two years old. We were wrapping our arms around it but still trying to figure out how we work with him because we were just parents and not clinicians. We shared our story with Casey and she shared about Oxford Recovery Center.  

We were already at a speech therapy center that had an ABA program.  They weren’t as willing to share the path of what I needed to do to get him tested.  Once we got the diagnosis, Casey shared with us what her program was about and our beliefs and practices were very much down that route.  That is how we came to Oxford Recovery Center.  

[Before Oxford Recovery Center] Eli had basically no speech.  He said his first word after he was maybe a year old. He had a lack of gross motor skills, receptive, and expressive language.   A lot of feeding problems, aggression, and behavior issues. What we found attractive was their Hyperbaric Oxygen treatment. I had read about it in the past, I had no idea why it would be good for us.  They gave us some research and what it can do for kids with autism and their speech specifically.  

We decided to pursue that route. The results that we got from Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy was nothing short of miraculous.  He went from saying a few words to the end of 9 weeks he was singing songs. I don’t know about you, but if your kid goes from saying a few words to singing songs, that is pretty miraculous.  

The Hyperbarics, I would recommend to anyone.  It is literally a miracle. He is saying phrases and asking questions now.  We think that does all stem from the hyperbaric, although he is also in Speech and Occupational Therapy as well.   They have such a great team and they are very synergistic as they claim. They work very well together, and we are able to put the pieces together.

You don’t really know what your child’s path is.  Everyone has dreams for their kids. It is hard living in this world without issues.   For us, just hearing our child’s words is a huge thing. At least he can say maybe he is not feeling well, or hearing mom for the first time.  I had to wait a long time for that. Or even him wanting to hug me back. Those are things many parents take for granted. It’s a hard path for the child and hard for the parents too.  It’s hard but when you find a place that they really wrap their arms around you and you feel like family the minute you walk in the door, you don’t feel bad about leaving your child there every day.  It’s going to take time to get results. It is a hard journey, but you know there is a goal in mind. We have a common goal and we just have to keep going.  

The love and support of Eli’s family are evident.  When his grandparents pick him up from therapy, he joyfully shouts their names and runs to them.  We are thrilled to witness the progress he has made all we have to offer: ABA, OT, Speech, HBOT, Medical Consultation, and Nutrition Coaching  The more therapies our clients utilize and the more involved the family in the process, the better the results.  

Paleo Pumpkin Cookies

Paleo Pumpkin Cookies

Gluten-free, dairy-free, & sugar-free!

Prep Time: 10 minutes 

Cook Time: 10-12 minutes

What You’ll Need:

Medium Bowl

Parchment Paper

Tablespoon and Teaspoon

Cookie Sheet

Cookie Scoop

Optional: Nuts or Chocolate Chips

2 ½ Cup Almond Flour

½  Cup Organic Pumpkin Puree

1  Tablespoon Cinnamon or Pumpkin Spice

2  Ripe Bananas

½ Teaspoon Salt

Optional: ¼ Cup Honey or Maple Syrup

Instructions:

  1. Turn oven on to 350F 
  2. Smash bananas until they are a smooth consistency
  3. Combine all ingredients and mix until well combined
  4. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper
  5. Using a cookie scoop, scoop out dough onto parchment paper
  6. Use a spoon or other utensil to flatten cookies
  7. Place in oven and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the center does not sink when pressed on
  8. Take out of the oven and serve once slightly cooled
  9. Enjoy! 

Parents of Children with Autism Support Group

Do you find that your experiences with your child with autism are different than your friends’ experiences with neurotypical children?  This monthly program is designated to connect you with parent who are experiencing child development the way that you are.  Learn to navigate the world of autism and connect with local parents who understand.  Develop new friendships for yourself and your children.

Monthly topics will be outlined.

October:  When things don’t go as planned.

When:

6:00pm-7:00pm

Brighton – Second Tuesday of the month
Troy – Second Wednesday of the month

Location:

Brighton: 7030 Whitmore Lake Road
Troy:  165 Kirts Blvd #500

Session is free, but you must register.

REGISTER NOW

 

 

 

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) Improves Eyesight for Individuals with Macular Degeneration

Patients with Macular Degeneration (MD or AMD)  have been told there is nothing that can be done to improve your eyesight. Patients that come to Oxford disagree. 

Macular degeneration, also known as age-related macular degeneration (AMD), is a medical condition which may result in blurred or no vision in the center of the visual field. It is a leading cause of visual loss in the developed world. In 2015, it affected 6.2 million people globally. About 12% of people over 80 years old suffer from AMD and more than 1.8 million Americans have the advanced stage of AMD. According to the National Eye Institute, there is no cure or treatment that returns vision already lost. Injections into the actual eyeball (the vitreous) were found to possibly slow the progression of wet (also referred to as the progressive form) AMD, however, they are expensive, uncomfortable, and patients are at an increased risk of developing inflammation, retinal detachment, and intraocular infection.

There are many proposed causes for the development of AMD. While there is a genetic predisposition, environmental factors, such as tobacco usage, vitamin/mineral deficiency and heavy alcohol usage can play a role as well.

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) has many biologic effects, including the activation of built-in antioxidant defenses, decrease in lipid degradation, increased antibacterial actions, and acts as a regulator of inflammation, which may theoretically affect the development and/or progression of AMD. In fact, two observational studies chronicling the benefits of hyperbaric oxygen therapy in AMD have been published. The patients in these pilot studies showed two primary outcomes, visual acuity and central retinal thickness, were improved in 75% of the cases.

“At Oxford, AMD has been a condition treated regularly for 8 years. Just recently, a 90 year old patient of ours grabbed my arm, looked at me and cheerfully said that she can see out of her right eye again. For her, nothing was more important to see her grandchildren. In reality, her improved vision will also lessen the risk of falls and improve her quality of life. Other patients report similar successes, at times with vision returning to 20/20. The implications are enormous,” says Dr. Tami Peterson, CEO at Oxford Recovery Center.

In 2010, a study published by the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society (UHMS) involved treating a group of 14 patients with advanced AMD. There were no complications. The improvements, whether in visual acuity or visual field, were maintained at subsequent follow-up visits. It was concluded that a greater number of hyperbaric oxygen treatments may have resulted in (even) better visual results.

When there is evidence like this, scientific and anecdotal, achieving improvements in visual acuity and/or in the visual field in cases considered untreatable by presently accepted methods, we need to weigh in all options for these patients and discuss the risks versus benefits. Certainly more studies are needed, however, if these preliminary studies hold up in larger trials, then it would have immense public health implications for the more than 7 million individuals in the U. S. at high risk for visual loss from AMD. 

Soaring Butterfly

Jessica Watts joined the ORC team in September 2018 as an ABA Technician. Jess is a very talented technician who is always willing to help out other technicians with their assigned child. She always goes above and beyond and is willing to help out wherever she can. Her silly personality spreads giggles and smiles to our patients and their families. She always takes on any challenge and is always positive. If you’re ever in need of a pick me up, spend some time with this ray of sunshine and your day will surely change for the better. You will find her lifting the whole ABA team up, and often she is the reason that they get through the day.

ORC’s Soaring Butterfly Award is given in recognition of an employee’s commitment to excellence, team effort, and exemplifying our core values.

Quinten and Michelle’s Testimonial

After a short three days of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT), Quentin started showing improvements.  He was starting to engage with the family, and he looked forward to going to therapy. I knew he was in the right place.

Having a child with autism can be very overwhelming. When your child won’t look you in the eye, or has violent behavior, there has to be something that can be done. I, a single mom of three, have dealt with this with my own child.

There are many things that doctors will tell you to try when treating a child with autism. As a parent, it is hard to choose which therapies or methods to try. I thought, how do I help him? I wanted to stick to evidence-based medicine. I tried many different things, including an at-home ABA program. It is hard hearing your child cry and not knowing what to do and if you should keep going because you are doing what you believe is best. The at-home ABA did not help Quinten much, and he wasn’t progressing. If anything, it added stress for all of us.

After the at-home ABA did not work, I decided to try a center-based ABA program. We also added physical, occupational, and speech therapies. We were going all over the place. We needed a manager to handle the logistics of it. For a single mom, working full-time and taking care of two other kids, the house and everything else, it was a lot.

A majority of the therapies that are offered are not covered by insurance. As a mom, the hardest thing is having to choose between a therapy for your child and putting food on the table.

At this point, Quinten was starting to become aggressive, and I was afraid that my child was going to end up in a bad place. You just keep thinking: there has to be something more. What else can I do?

I heard of oxygen therapy right when Quinten was diagnosed and did a lot of reading. As a parent who has tried multiple different therapies, I thought ‘It is not proven medicine. Will it even work?’ Then I went to Oxford Recovery Center and scheduled a free Discovery Session. After talking through the options, I decided to pursue the therapies for Quinten. I was so excited to give my son one more shot at life, one more opportunity to get on a new trajectory. Even though I thought: maybe this will work, maybe it won’t, I want to give him every opportunity.

After starting Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) and ABA at Oxford, I started seeing changes in Quinten. I was blown away. The third day of the therapies, Quinten got home, took me by the hand, and led me to the bathroom. He was four years old and potty training himself. I was floored by it. Previously, I’d thought my son was going to be one of those kids in fifth grade still wearing diapers.

One day, we were walking down the hallway, and I looked back to tell him ‘come on.’ Quinten looked up at me like “Are you there mom?” This was the first time he had ever looked at me like this. It was the way he looked at me, needing reassurance that I was by his side. This was the day that I knew that the HBOT was helping. He started to look me in the eyes. He would actually look at me like “You’re my mom.”

After continuously doing the therapies, Quentin has started to verbalize and make even more eye contact. I can’t thank the team at Oxford Recovery Center enough for being so caring, for doing so much for my son. He loves going to Oxford and we are seeing results.

Before starting the therapies, he used to come home and isolate himself from the family. He doesn’t isolate at all anymore. He plays, socially. It is night and day. I feel real hope for my son and his future. That is priceless. Without hope, you don’t have much. I know that my son is in the right place, and I haven’t felt that way since the diagnosis.

What is a Discovery Session, and why do I need one?

The purpose of the Discovery Session is for one of our team members to better understand your situation and what your journey has been like so far. From there, our team member can discuss COMPASS in more detail and how it can help give you success in your next states of meaningful employment.

Please fill out the form below if you would like our staff to contact you, answer your questions, or get you scheduled for a free Discovery Session.

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