WASHINGTON COUNTY, Ark. (KDKA) — An Arkansas family says their daughter is proof that miracles do happen.
Three-year-old Eden Carlson suffered major brain damage last year in a drowning accident, but she’s making a recovery no one expected.
With every step and every word, Eden Carlson is defying the odds. The 3-year-old nearly drowned in a swimming pool last year. Her mother and emergency crews performed CPR for 100 minutes to bring her back.
But Eden suffered severe brain damage and her parents were told she would be in a vegetative state her entire life.
“It was completely devastating,” Eden’s mother, Kristal Carlson, said. “We were just heartbroken.”
Determined to find treatment options, Eden’s parents found Dr. Paul Harch from LSU Health New Orleans, who specializes in hyperbaric oxygen therapy.
Eden started regular oxygen treatment at home twice a day and started improving almost immediately.
“She was starting to speak and say some words,” Kristal said. “She could say ‘momma’ and ‘car’ and ‘trees.’”
The next step, a hyperbaric chamber in New Orleans where increased oxygen and pressure are used to treat wounds.
“This is a massive wound to her brain,” Harch said. “We are stimulating growth of tissue, inhibiting inflammation and stopping cell death.”
Before and after MRI scans show a startling regrowth of tissue.
“The white on the outside of the brain now is much, much smaller,” Harch explained, “meaning … the crevices have filled in, which can only be due to brain growth.”
Dr. Harch says Eden’s brain damage has been reversed.
“By the time we were done, she was walking, talking,” he said. “Mom felt she was cognitively back to normal.”
The family has been documenting her progress on YouTube and Facebook. Her story is now making global headlines.
She is still getting follow-up treatments in the hyperbaric chamber and will travel back to New Orleans next month.