Hyperbarics of Sun Valley is currently treating Stan Barrett—a retired Hollywood stuntman with a wild and storied life. Never one to back away from a challenge, young Stan earned a black belt in two forms of karate; was a former Golden Gloves boxing champ; and served several years in the military. Shortly after starting to pursue a career in the health care industry, Stan fell into the stunt business by chance and ultimately became a highly sought-after double for leading men including Burt Reynolds, Paul Newman, and Steve McQueen. In 1979, he broke the land speed record—and the sound barrier—in the three-wheeled Budweiser Rocket vehicle at Edwards Air Force Base. Having established his need for speed, he later joined the NASCAR circuit and drove in 19 Winston Cup Series races, posting two top-10 finishes along the way. Although his life has slowed down more recently in a literal sense, he still travels the world doing good works for charity.
But a lifetime of pushing his body to the limit took its toll, requiring multiple surgeries to repair broken limbs, ribs, and back. After trying numerous medications and a wide variety of treatment modalities to address his residual chronic pain—as well as his sleeplessness and invasive negative thoughts—Stan decided, with the encouragement of his adult sons, to give hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) a try. He remembers thinking, “What do I have to lose?”
After his first HBOT treatment, Stan reports that he slept three hours straight. “I didn’t even move,” he said. At time of our interview, Stan had completed 16 of 40 HBOT treatments and was eager to continue the process—and his progress. “My attitude has changed a lot since I started all this,” he said. “I’m more positive about things, and I don’t have the same dreams, [negative] things I’ve seen don’t pop into my head all the time … I never really thought these things could affect me psychologically, but they have.”
Thankfully, HBOT has also helped relieve a lot of Stan’s chronic back pain, to the point where he has been able to drop several of his pain-management medications. Has also regained mobility in his stiff neck.
Since Stan started HBOT, both of his sons have noticed positive changes in his outlook, and he himself reports having a renewed sense of vigor. “After starting HBOT, I feel some hope.”