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Little boy smiles again after flu left him blind and in constant pain

hyperbaric oxygen therapy for catastrophic brain damage in children

A blind boy who suffered catastrophic brain damage has smiled for the first time in three years thanks to an innovative new treatment called "hyperbaric oxygen therapy".

Sarah Dafner’s little boy Tzvi was only three months old when a case of the flu led to him suffering severe brain damage. The youngster, who is now 5, was just learning to roll over when he fell ill.

On the third morning of his illness Tvzi didn’t wake up. He had stopped breathing and gone into cardiac arrest. Paramedics worked on Tzvi for almost half an hour before he finally started breathing again, but he had sustained massive brain damage.

It left him unable to respond to stimuli, blind, in constant pain and having seizures that lasted all day and night. At the start of his illness, Tzvi was spending three out of every four weeks in hospitals because of infections and seizures.

Sarah and husband Reuven, who live in Prestwich, were told there was not much that could be done apart from 'therapy and hope'. Sarah said: “His EEG showed no brain activity and Tzvi didn’t respond to stimuli. Not a sound came out of his mouth and he couldn’t bend his legs at all, even when unconscious. They were rigid."

“After that he started having seizures. We began trying different drugs with massive side effects and lots of hospital admissions. He was screaming in pain because his body was so stiff and the seizures lasted all day long. We were literally living a day at a time.”

Then, two years ago the family's fortunes finally began to change...

The family's GP showed Sarah a piece he had read about hyperbaric oxygen chambers.

Sarah took Tzvi to a center in Morecambe to undergo the treatment and the results changed Tzvi's life.

After just 20 sessions his seizures decreased dramatically and he started smiling for the first time in almost three years.

The pressurized chamber works by allowing the user to breathe in 100% oxygen, which is carried through the body to tissue starved of this precious gas of life. Hyperbaric treatment is most effective when it is used on consecutive days.

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