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Bill and Allene Creacy

Bill's Journey

May 1, 1997 was a joyous day. It was our anniversary of 32 years. We planned to celebrate the next day, which was Friday. Friday came and brought with it the worst nightmare of my life. Our lives as we knew it were gone and would never be the same.

Bill collapsed on the job with a massive brain aneuysm. He was taken to a local hospital and lay there in the emergency room, comatose for almost 6 hours with little treatment before we could get him Care-flighted out and back to Dallas. Even though we had the top neurosurgeon with Bill at a major trauma hospital, they gave him no chance for survival. We were told he had bled too long, the clot was too deep in the brain, and that he could not make it through surgery. I was asked to donate his organs. But, I had to give him this one last chance.

He had the brain surgery; they still told us he would not survive. Then, they told us he would never wake up, and that if he did, he would be a vegetable for the rest of his life. Bill stayed in a deep coma for almost 6 months.

He did eventually wake up, but was away from the house for another 6 months in 5 different re-hab hospitals. We were told he would be in a wheelchair all his life and never talk or be able to be fed without a tube. Every doctor we came into contact with screamed 'nursing home!' I replied, 'Not in this lifetime!"

I took Bill to acupuncture and he walked. I started him back in the gym. I gave him nutritional supplements. I took him for chiropractic treatments. I found ozone therapy for him. I gave him a massage. You name it, and if there was any chance that it might help him, somehow, we got it for him. Bill was only 55 years old, and we felt that if God had wanted Bill, He'd had that first 6 hours to take him, when Bill had gotten so little treatment. And yet, God didn't.

Bill has literally defied all odds. His intracranial bleed could not have been in a worse area-deep in the brain-left frontal lobe basal ganglia area. He had no short or long term memory, and virtually no retention. He was totally incontinent, drooled constantly, dragged his right leg, and his posture was very bent forward. He had developed a massive deep vein thrombosis in the right leg while in the coma. We had to place a Greenfield filter in the stomach area to stop a clot from killing him, should it break off and move. He developed high blood pressure (which he never had before) and arterial fibrillation. He had to have a pacemaker implanted. You name it, we survived it.

All these things helped, but the one thing that we had been desperately trying to get for him from the moment he came out of surgery, was hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT). We did our research and the one therapy that kept coming up to possibly help with stroke and traumatic brain injury was hyperbaric oxygen therapy. And it just made sense. A brain deprived of oxygen, especially for as long as Bill's had been, needs oxygen to help it in the healing process-and, much more than he could get from just normal breathing.

We talked to doctors in the United States and in several different countries. Dr. Neubauer was the first person I called, and he wanted me to fly Bill to him immediately. But, Bill was so critical for so long, I never got to do that. Three more long years went by, and I still felt hyperbarics could help, since Bill had now reached a plateau and was stale and stagnant in his progress.

Three years post stroke, in August 2000, Bill had his first set of hyperbaric oxygen treatments. He literally woke up in the chamber after the 8th dive. He became conversational. He stopped dragging his right foot and leg almost completely. He stood more erect. The drooling ceased-now only a little when he was extremely tired. To date, he rarely has a bathroom problem, unless he just can't get there in time. No more adult depends.

He got 25 treatments, and I knew we could not stop. In February 2001, Bill had 40 HBOT treatments. In March 2001, he had 10 more. This time we noticed much improvement in short term memory retention. Everyone was amazed at his further improvement, especially his primary care doctor. In fact, his doctor is now an avid believer in hyperbaric oxygen therapy.

What I am trying to say is that out of all the things we have done for Bill, hyperbaric oxygen therapy is the one thing that pushed him over the hump and gave us a reason for real hope for further significant recovery. If I had listened to mainstream medicine, I could be visiting him in a nursing home or in the cemetery.

Instead, he is currently standing behind me as I type his story...humming the Aggie War Hymn.

Copyright 2004, AAHA

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