Last year I was invited to join the team at Hyperbarics of Sun Valley by its owner, Phil Rainey, who also happened to be an ex-Army diver. Phil had learned that I was a professional diver living in the area with training on decompression chamber operations. Of course, I immediately took him up on his offer – there’s not much for a diver to do at 6,000 feet, and this was a perfect opportunity to keep my training current. I had heard about the use of hyperbaric oxygen therapy in the medical field, but I had no real knowledge of its success in treating a long list of symptoms and illnesses. My decision turned out to be a real eye-opener.
Within my first year of working with veterans and local patients, I witnessed fantastic improvements in their health – both physical and mental. On the veteran side, I have primarily helped treat traumatic brain injuries and PTSD. As they try to make their way back into civilian life while coping with such challenges, these former military members live a different day-to-day reality than the rest of us. But hyperbarics can help change that. During the course of the veterans’ treatments, I could hear the confidence return to their voices and see the happiness rekindled on their faces. Some were able to see the path ahead of them more clearly. Others regained a calmness of mind and the ability to breathe a little easier in this new environment. After administering more than 40 treatments, I can honestly say that the people I have treated now live happier lives than those they were living before.
As for the local patients and those who travel from outside the area for hyperbaric treatment, the list of issues they seek to address is endless. One specific instance that sticks out in my mind is a family that was looking for a different method to treat their young autistic son. It was only after 10 treatments that I asked this mother if she was seeing any notable changes in the boy’s habits or personality, and her response left me speechless: In a voice trying to hold back emotion, she explained that her son was now sleeping in his own bed at night. Something even as small as this was a great gift, for it allowed both her and the boy’s father to enjoy restful nights for the first time in years. My response: “Wow.” This was powerful news.
I continue my work at Hyperbarics of Sun Valley with a clear understanding of its potential to help reshape lives. This method of treatment is worth trying, even if you’re somewhat skeptical about it. Post-operation healing, inflammation, depression, post Covid-19 symptoms – the list of issues where hyperbaric therapy can help goes on and on. As long as there are individuals who are suffering, hyperbaric oxygen therapy is here to help.
Patrick Boudwin ADC