How it All Began
The story of how we founded Oxford Recovery Center after witnessing its healing potential.
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
I’m Lila Lazarus. This is a hyperbaric chamber, the air pressure is six times what you normally experience. It’s usually used for diabetic wounds or to treat radiation damage, but one metro Detroit family believes this chamber gave them their daughter back.
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
As you can see this tiny dancer, JeAnnah Powell, is doing just fine now; but only weeks earlier she was partially paralyzed by encephalitis, a viral infection that goes to the brain, and can cause series impairment and even death. JeAnnah’s mother Tami Powell is ready to do anything even planning to go overseas for specialized oxygen treatment. “I said were either going to go to the UK to get treatment or I knew there was a private clinic down in North Carolina.” But JeAnnah and her mother finally found help here at the DMC Detroit receiving hospital, with their new oxygen giving hyperbaric chamber. JeAnnah said she wasn’t afraid of the process. “But there wasn’t any pain, it didn’t hurt?” “No,” says JeAnnah. “It really wasn’t scary being in that tube?” “No,maybe the first time you look at it you’ll be like oh my! I’m going in that!” “It’s a little intimidating?” “Yeah.” Said JeAnnah. Dr. Bob Wilson is chief of the hyperbaric oxygen therapy program and chief of staff at the DMC Detroit Receiving Hospital. “We had a young girl who came in with encephalitis and the encephalitis hit her so hard that she could hardly move anything. And within a few treatments of starting this thing, she began to move, she began to walk, and after she finished her treatments she was able to tap dance. Which is almost unheard of in people who had been paralyzed from encephalitis. Oh, it was a miracle, it’s really a fantastic thing.” There’s some patients in there now? “Yes!” The hyperbaric chamber is a non-invasive, painless high pressure oxygen treatment used for a number of conditions and illnesses including diabetic ulcers, other non-healing wounds, necrosis of soft tissue and bone due to radiation, Gangrene and more. Inside the comfortable, multi-person chamber, your oxygen is administered at an air pressure 2-3 times higher than the external atmosphere. The patient’s white blood cells increase significantly, increasing their opportunity to heal. Throughout the session, technicians have ongoing contact with the patient, ensuring a high level of comfort and accommodation. The results sometimes seem, well, almost miraculous. And although there are still somethings we don’t understand about the hyperbaric chamber, the good news is: it works! Dr. Bob Wilson says, “The body, when it senses an area that has no oxygen, and an area that has very high oxygen, tries to build blood vessels from the very high oxygen area to the area that has no oxygen. Except we don’t know exactly why that occurs, but the body senses that area that has no blood flow, and tries to build new blood vessels down into that area that has no blood flow. And one of the main things about it is that with this therapy we can grow new blood vessels in tissue. We can make new blood vessels grow into tissue that have been destroyed by x-rays and destroyed by Atherosclerosis and all kinds of things and make new blood vessels grow in there and heal things.” Her doctors were not sure if JeAnnah would ever walk again but her attitude was great. JeAnnah says, “And after the walker and stuff, I shoved my walker at my therapist and I said ‘I want canes now, I am done with that walker’.” Within a few weeks the little girl was walking on her own, and now she’s dancing again too. Mom is thrilled with the DMC’s staff. Tami says, “We are so thankful for them, they’ve been wonderful, they took us, they embraced us. I’m not sure they believed at first that it would work, because nobody had, she’s set a trend that they allowed something that wasn’t done to be done, and they showed it works. Visit us anytime at DMC.org to learn more about the hyperbaric chamber or to make an appointment with Dr. Bob Wilson and the fine team at the DMC’s Detroit Receiving Hospital. The DMC, we just think it’s a better way to get better. I’m Emery King.
Tami & JeAnnah Video Script
My daughter was 9 years old and a typical happy dancing child, going to school thinking everything was fine when suddenly my daughter acquired a very serious life threatening brain condition, she had viral encephalitis. One that many doctors felt like she would never survive. After several weeks in the hospital and a longer time in the hospital rehab unit, my daughter was sent home. And the doctors told me that there was nothing more that could be done. I was told basically her brain was fried and my once bright, happy, smiling, normal child was to spend the rest of her life in a wheelchair. She was mentally impaired, had a seizure disorder, she was legally blind, could communicate minimally to us, spastic behavior, heavy sensory disorder, screaming fits at night. I walked into a new world once my daughter suddenly became severely disabled. We realized the heavy impact it was on a family, and trying to take care of a disabled child. After the third neurologist told us that basically there was nothing more that could be done, I wasn’t going to accept that, as moms don’t do. We look for anything to help our child. That’s when a mom from Malaysia sent me an email telling me about her son who was treated in a hyperbaric chamber for a near drown and said that the girl in the chamber next to him sounded like my daughter. Came in on a gurney then a wheelchair then a walker then left dancing. As soon as I read left dancing, I knew I had to figure out what this HBOT was. So we pursued the hyperbaric oxygen therapy and my daughter, very uniquely, was treated in a hospital. Very costly, very expensive, but at this point I was going to try anything. Finally there was some hope. Our first treatment that we were there, the doctors, who discouraged us from treating, said that there was nothing that could be done, questioned why we were there. But we knew that was…we had to try something. After her first treatment JeAnnah, my daughter, was able to kneel and her grip strength…we had all sorts of tests done before she dived…her grip strength literally doubled. Within a week she was almost back to normal, mentally. She positively could read again, she was functioning at grade level, she could see, her sight was back to normal, no more seizures, we were almost through the sensory disorders that she had. We could touch her without her screaming, wanting deep pressure. She didn’t have her whooping coughs anymore. Two months later, she was tap dancing and it was actually on my birthday that she took her first step to me. I think it was the best birthday present a mom could ever get, I never thought she would ever walk. Today, I have a healthy normal child. Baby, come here, you did your hair; you look beautiful. Do you remember when you took your first steps on my birthday? I think you planned to do that didn’t you? Best birthday present you could have given me. And now today, no problems at all. You dance, you walk, and you’re great at school. JeAnnah answers, “Uhm, I feel that God gave me this illness because he wanted me to help other kids, and if it weren’t for me then a lot of these people that are getting healed here wouldn’t be getting healed and wouldn’t have the chance to do that.”