03 November 2009

Our big news: Miracle Mountain

What's our big news?

Due to the incredible outpouring of love and money from our friends and due to the very generous gift of a dear couple who paid off the balance of the bill, we were able to attend Miracle Mountain for their November session!

Not only that, due to another couple and their very generous gift, Liam will be able to attend another session of HBOT sometime in the spring!!

To say I am overwhelmed with the love and generosity that has been shown us and Liam is an understatement. I would never have imagined being able to finance one trip let alone two! Thanks is not sufficient enough for the gratitude we all feel over this opportunity! We are so excited and sincerely thankful for all of you for making this happen for us.


We (me and Liam) are currently at Miracle Mountain for the next 3 weeks!

We are nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina, about 6 hours from home, and are literally out in the middle of nowhere. When I say it's in the mountains, I mean deep in the mountains. We are a good 1/2 hour drive from the nearest town which isn't that many miles away. But in order to get there you have to drive roads that cut through mountain passes and switchbacks and you can't go more than a few miles an hour on these routes.

It is beautiful out here though. The leaves are still falling off the trees and the views are amazing.

This peak is right outside the trailer I am staying in. As the sun was setting, shadows were covering the ground and it was getting dark, but when you looked up, the last rays of the sun hit the peak and the golden red hues of the leaves were lit up as if they were on fire. It was gorgeous.

God's beautiful canvas in all it's glory.

Unfortunately my pictures don't do it justice at all!


Liam and I have now completed 6 dives. We do two dives a day spaced a minimum of 3 hours apart. We are put into a large, very thick walled chamber that has one small window to the outside world. There are fours chairs in the chamber allowing 4 people to sit comfortably while diving. The support person can sit on the floor of the chamber or if the child is small enough can have them sit in their lap. They also will allow for an additional client and support person at times making the capacity of the chamber ten people. But thankfully, our dive time is not full so we only have 3 clients and three support persons. Both of the clients Liam is diving with are boys with autism.

Actually, all of the clients in the November session are boys!

Liam is doing really well. We ascend in the chamber to 1.5 ATA and when we reach maximum pressure the clients get oxygen hoods put on their heads and they breath 100% oxygen for 1 hour. We then descend back to normal pressure.

The hardest part for Liam is when we ascend. Liam cries during this process because the pressure is quite great and you have to continually pop your ears. Liam doesn't understand what's going on so he fusses and cries. I do give him sips of water so he can swallow and clear his own ears and he is on Nasonex to prevent trauma. But he still cries. Sometimes they will also back up a few feet in pressure to clear his ears for him.

Once we are at full pressure he is a champ. He just hangs out with me in the chamber and enjoys sitting in my lap. There is a small screen so the kids can watch a movie but Liam is on the opposite side of the tank so he can't see the screen from there.

Liam doesn't mind descending at all. We can descend pretty quickly, but it probably takes twice as long to ascend. And sometimes they go slow so Liam doesn't hurt.

Due to the pressure, our ears are checked out each time before a dive and if there are any signs of problems you are unable to complete the dives until your ears clear. Luckily, Liam's ears have been doing really well. Mine are too, but I was really bothered by it on my first day. My head hurt and my ears ached into the night after our first two dives. Now, I am used to it. I am hoping Liam gets the hang of it and can help himself, but until then, we do what we can to make him comfy.

I have been looking at studies online about HBOT and they are all so encouraging. I look forward to updating you all with great news of Liam's new accomplishments. It can take time though and although I can be impatient, I do know that we may not see results right away. The techs here said that one session can take months to see results. One man who is here with his autistic teen age son was here in the spring and he said the changes in his son over the summer months following their spring dive were incredible. He said his son's teachers were amazed.

I am praying for amazing changes for Liam.

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