How it All Began
Summer of 2006
JeAnnah’s Last Week of School
JeAnnah had always been known for her playful, sunny disposition, her love of dance, playing with her dog, and spending time with friends. Encephalitis took all of it from her and more.
Two Days Later
As the disease continued its relentless progression, JeAnnah lost her ability to see, speak, and feed herself. She could no longer sit, stand, or walk.
While JeAnnah’s sight did return, her prognosis remained grim. At one point doctors told us nothing more could be done for our daughter and that she would likely remain in a wheelchair for the rest of her life. Sent home to pass away in her sleep the search began for a cure.
Several Weeks Later
Like any parent faced with this type of news, it was clear to us this was unacceptable. There simply had to be a treatment somewhere, anywhere, that could help our daughter, and we were going to find it.
Armed with our unwavering faith in God, and a sense of desperate urgency only parents in this situation can know, we scoured the internet looking for even the smallest morsel of medical information that might help.
One Month Later
After a miraculous series of events, JeAnnah was able to treat at Detroit Receiving with a therapy called Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy. JeAnnah began to see immediate improvements. After a week she began to kneel, something doctors, and the therapist said would be impossible. After two weeks she threw her walker at the therapist and said she was ready for canes.
Our daughter’s miraculous recovery through Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) inspired us to found the Oxford Recovery Center. We are committed to offering the same hope and healing power of our recovery approach.
Now JeAnnah is in college enjoying life to the fullest!
MyFox Detroit Video Script
This is JeAnnah, a year ago on Christmas. 9 years old, healthy, jumping, normal, with no indication that 6 months later she’ll look like this. Unable to speak, move, see, and hold her head up. In June, JeAnnah got the chicken pox. Out of nowhere she’s dizzy, confused, and then unconscious. Her heartbeat out of rhythm, she stops breathing, her kidneys malfunction, she’s fed through IV’s. The Chicken Pox has become Encephalitis, a rare infection of the brain. Her mother is warned, her perfect little girl is likely paralyzed and will need a wheelchair. “She doesn’t need a wheelchair,” her mother says, “she’ll walk. You know I… She needs a wheelchair, and I realized my daughter was truly disabled. It was hard.” JeAnnah starts therapy to learn to speak and move. “We tried that for a month, and then it was time to try something else.” Her mother gets on the internet, searching for answers. “I would have given everything I had, I would have gone anywhere in the world.” Remarkably, she hears from a women in Australia that another child with Encephalitis was cured after spending time in a hyperbaric chamber. It’s oxygen therapy. Used to treat things like gangrene, carbon monoxide poisoning, and tissue damage. “It’s so simple, the concept: pressure and oxygen, and it can bring healing.” But in the US it’s not being in use for encephalitis. “I cannot find another child in the country that a hospital had treated in Hyperbarics for this.” JeAnnah’s neurologist says no. “It’s going to work, you gotta let me try. He refused to write the script.” She ignores her daughter’s doctor and refuses to give up. “I didn’t care, I’m like if I have a 10% chance, I’ll sell everything I have, and we’ll do it.” That’s when fate steps in, the family has a coffee shop and a customer comes in talking about a new researcher at the Detroit medical center, Dr. Steven Guthrie, who’s studying the effects of the hyperbaric chamber on viruses like AIDS. Believing the chamber confuses a virus, “so it makes some sense to say well if I take this virus and put it some place it’s not used to being, it’s just going to throw up its hands and run off into the corners. I think that’s probably part of what we’re doing.” Dr. Guthrie agrees to let JeAnnah try it and after just one treatment, called a dive, the improvement are dramatic. Her grip strength improves, her vision comes back, and she’s speaking. Her mother documents every extraordinary moment. She’ll take dive after dive in the chamber. At first crawling in, her mother sits with her. They watch movies or play cards. There are no pills or shots or side effects. JeAnnah says, “It definitely makes you hungry, and well sometimes when I get out I…I just feel happy.” Each dive brings more improvement. She can walk pushing a wheelchair; eventually she’s able to walk with a cane. It’s awesome, brings tears to my eyes. We didn’t know if she would ever walk. If I had listened to the doctors, she would still be in a wheelchair, impaired. Even dr. Guthrie is impressed, “there aren’t that many diseases that I know of where a patient will go from that level of disability to that level of mobility that quickly.” As for JeAnnah the progress isn’t good enough she has her own goal. “I’ve been doing dance since I was 3 so I can’t wait to get back.” She just wants to dance and somehow she always knew it would happen. “I could just feel it,” JeAnnah says. And after 57 dives, JeAnnah who somehow kept smiling through all of this, takes the stage. JeAnnah’s story sends such a strong message, doctors don’t have every answer, and the family never gave up hope. Even when things looked so bleak, it was the chance message on the internet that led the family to what they believe cured their daughter. JeAnnah is done with the chamber for now, but if she has another flare-up like she has in the past, she’ll come back in for another dive. That’s how it works, I’m Lila Lazarus.
Pure O2 Video
Tami & JeAnnah Video Script
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