Toddler Who Drowned for 15 Minutes Fully Recovers After Cutting-Edge Treatment


Eden Carlson Miracles/YouTube

All parents think their child is a miracle, but the mom and dad of toddler Eden Carlson have science backing them up on that. Eden suffered severe brain damage after she drowned in the family swimming pool in 2016, ultimately spending about 15 minutes submerged underwater. But doctors have been able to do the unthinkable for the Carlson family: They've reversed Eden's brain damage.

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A month after her accident, Eden was unresponsive to stimuli, and her body was constantly squirming. She was unable to do even simple toddler tasks, like walking or talking. But 55 days after her accident, doctors started giving Eden normobaric oxygen treatments, in which levels of oxygen are the same as at sea level. After 45 days, Eden seemed more alert and was able to move her limbs. Her family traveled to New Orleans for he next phase of treatment, where she went into a hyperbaric chamber for 45 minutes per day, five days a week, for 39 sessions.

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Researchers at the LSU Health New Orleans School of Medicine and the University of North Dakota School of Medicine have released information about their unique treatments, and the results are nothing short of a miracle: Brain scans have shown that the gray matter in Eden's brain -- which showed significant damage after she was rushed to the hospital -- now show an "almost complete reversal" of the damage. Eden has regained her speech, and her motor function is almost back to its pre-drowning level. She's even up and walking! 

The now-3-year-old Eden and her miraculous recovery are the subject of a paper in a medical journal, and her parents are hopeful that she's on the way back to being just like the other kids her age. 

The medical breakthrough isn't just big for the Carlsons. Unintentional drowning is the fifth leading cause of unintentional injury death in the US, and every day 10 people die from it. One in five drowning victims is a kid 14 or younger. 

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Even those who survive often have serious consequences -- the CDC estimates 50 percent of drowning victims who land in the ER require hospitalization or transfer for additional care. The brain damage caused by drowning has been linked to long-term disabilities such as memory problems, learning impairments, and permanent loss of basic functioning.

Drowning is such a major fear for parents because it can happen to anyone, and it can happen incredibly quickly -- almost literally in the blink of an eye. 

But Eden's case could mean big things for the future of all drowning victims, especially kids, as doctors say it was Eden's still-developing brain that helped them in helping her.

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