Jane Dean , who runs the Breath for Life charity
which provides natural therapies for sick and brain injured children
gives us an update on thier activities.
In the May 05 issue of Foods MatterJane Dean, founder of the Breath
for Life charity, which helps sick and brain-injured children,
described the oxygen therapy which forms an integral part of their
Most people only know of hyperbaric (pressurised) oxygen treatment in the context
of deep-sea diving (it is the way that divers decompress on returning to the
surface) - although it has recently received much media attention as a way to
mend Wayne Rooney’s foot!
The elevated levels of oxygen that are pumped through the body
during the treatment - which is entirely painless and noninvasive - promote the
formation of new capillaries, thus increasing the flow of healing blood to injured
tissues and reducing swelling.
Oxygen also boosts the immune response and enhances the killing ability of the
white blood cells, which destroy germs, toxins and free radicals. Jane Dean believes
that oxygen treatment could help injured guts by eradicating parasitic infections
and clearing inflammation - thus allowing the gut to heal and become more tolerant
of the foods to which it had previously reacted.
In April this year, The Daily
Telegraph carried a half-page feature on our charity, A Breath for Life. The
article focused on hyperbaric oxygen therapy. This method of delivering oxygen
at greater than atmospheric pressure has produced some remarkable results in
the children and adults we treat.
The Telegraph article highlighted the story of Leanne Walker. Leanne came to
us almost as a last resort for help. She had been in her first year at university
studying for a psychology degree when she developed a crop of cold sores around
her lips. Not an uncommon event but the herpes simplex virus in Leanne’s
case migrated to her brain and caused acute encephalitis.
As a result Leanne totally lost her long-term memory and her short-term memory
was about thirty seconds. She did not know her parents and had lost all sense
of appropriate behaviour. This was a desperate situation.
After three weeks of
treatment in the hyperbaric chamber, her memory started to improve until one
day she remembered something she had done the day before. Eventually Leanne returned
to Lancaster University, repeated her first year, graduated with a 2:1 and is
now working as a teaching assistant.
Our centre always struggles financially as we have neither government support
nor a regular income. We rely heavily on the local community and fund-raising
efforts of friends and family.
Our major expense is our oxygen which costs us approximately £1,000 each
month from BOC.
However, following the publication of the Telegraph article we
were contacted by the office of Sir Frederick Barclay (the Barclay Brothers own
the Telegraph) and offered an oxygen concentrator. This very expensive piece
of apparatus ‘makes’ oxygen from the atmosphere and means that we
no longer have to ‘buy in’ our oxygen. The charity was overwhelmed
by this kind and generous offer. We eagerly await delivery and installation.
Hyperbaric oxygen treatment is safe and non-invasive. Why, when oxygen therapy
is inexpensive compared with many hi-tech orthodox treatments, is this service
not freely available in all major hospitals in the country? It undoubtedly should