We are often asked which therapy or treatment made the biggest difference for Robert. I will answer this below but it is important to know that we agreed, early on, that we were going to throw “everything and the kitchen sink” at healing his brain injury and, hopefully, argue later about what made the biggest difference in his recovery.
In short, the most important thing was never giving up. If we had listened to the experts, Robert would have starved to death and now be nothing but a memory. We are still researching and learning, pursuing anything that might help. We have occasionally changed course when we find a therapy that appears, at least for Robert, to outperform other therapies we are pursuing. Each child is different and it is important to remember that what works for one may not work, or work as well, for another. Drowning is a frustratingly heterogeneous injury.
Drum Roll . . .
Hyperbaric intervention was the single biggest game changer for Robert. Despite all of the conventional treatments, Robert was continuing to degrade until the first normobaric treatments and he made a quick turn for the better after his initial hyperbaric dives. It is our belief that hyperbaric intervention stopped the continuing damage in his brain and began the healing. We will continue to fight to get this powerful tool added to the toolboxes of emergency medicine doctors everywhere.