Scientists Just Reversed Brain Damage In A 2-Year-Old Who Drowned In A Pool

Scientists Just Reversed Brain Damage In A 2-Year-Old Who Drowned In A Pool


Thanks to the ingenuity of several scientists, a 2-year-old who nearly drowned in her family's swimming pool has nearly made a full recovery.

In February 2016, little Eden Carlson got through a baby gate and fell into the 5 degree Celsius water of her family's swimming pool. She was under water for up to 15 minutes before someone found her.

Although rescuers were able to revive her, Eden was still unresponsive to all stimuli after a month of treatment at the hospital.

Eden Carlson nearly drowned in her family pool. She suffered deep injury to her brain from lack of oxygen.CNN

Scientists were ale to restore her ability to walk and talk with a revolutionary treatment regime that could save the lives of many more like little Eden.

Find out how they did it on the next page.

The prognosis looked bleak for the little girl. She had severe brain damage and her parents were told that she would never talk, walk, eat on her own or react to her surroundings.

She was immobile, constantly squirming and shaking her head. MRI scans revealed a profound injury to her brain's gray matter as well as loss of white and gray matter.

Gray matter is a major part of the central nervous system that controls the activities of the body, while white matter affects learning and brain functions.

Doctors told parents, Kristal and Chris Carlson of Fayetteville, Arkansas, that there was nothing to be done for little Eden.

However, they refused to accept that and began to search for a way to treat their little girl. Five weeks later, they stumbled upon hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) and normobaric oxygen therapy.

This treatment with HBOT gives pure oxygen in a special chamber at pressures higher than that of the Earth's atmosphere. Normobaric oxygen therapy gives oxygen at rates similar to sea-level.

Within hours of treatment with pure oxygen, Eden's parents noticed a remarkable change in their little girl.

"After a couple of sessions, she could speak in small sentences and her vocabulary grew," Kristal told People. "Then she started holding her head up and could sit up on her own and by the last few sessions, she was taking her first shaky steps."

It would take 78 days of HBOT, normobaric oxygen therapy and physical therapy, before Eden was cured.

After 39 sessions, she could walk, talk and her cognitive abilities/motor function were almost restored to pre-drowning levels. An MRI scan taken 30 days later showed a near-complete reversal of brain damage.

"She is almost 100 percent recovered," says Kristal. "It's miraculous, we are so inspired by this whole process."

Scientists are saying that this is the first ever reported case of brain damage reversal with oxygen treatment and therapy. Part of the success was that doctors were able to intervene early, in a growing child, before long-term tissue deterioration could take place.

Watch her incredible recovery here:

[h/t Yahoo News / USA TODAY]