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SammyJo Wilkinson's story

SammyJo Wilkinson's story

I heard about HBOT therapy for MS over the years, and when Washington Hyperbaric opened near my home I was excited to try it. I had accumulated brain damage from over 15 years of suffering from MS. Before HBOT I tried many treatments with little success. My vascular doctor agreed that supplemental oxygen should speed repair of the brain and central nervous system, so I began a program of 40 HBOT sessions.

At the start I could not lift my legs off the mat in the tank due to stiffness and spasticity. I was told not to expect immediate results, but on the third session, my legs felt looser, and I could suddenly lift my knees to my chest. At first I only got relief while in the chamber, but at two weeks the spasticity relief was lasting throughout the day, and I quit using my walker to get around the house. It had been several years since I could ride my exercise bike, now I could ride 15-20 minutes every day, do exercises to regain muscle strength, and my energy levels remained high during the day. By the last two weeks of the program, bladder urgency problems were reduced by 80%. I also noticed vision improvement - I was reading highway signs again! About 40% of my right eye vision had been lost due to optic nerve atrophy, and I had been told this could not be regained.

I highly recommend hyperbaric oxygen therapy to anyone with MS or other neurological damage. There is good medical research illustrating improvements for brain damage using HBOT. The staff at Washington Hyperbaric is very caring and competent. You can ask the clinic for my contact info, and read more about my experience treating CCSVI at


(Patient continued treatment at home with soft chamber after completing 40 session treatment in Fortius at our facility.)

Also, it has been trial and error for me, the first 40 dives I was using a mask with holes in it, so didn't get the full O2 out of the concentrator. Then I heard about the non-rebreather mask, where the bag fills up with the O2, and I got better results. So I tape the wholes closed in the mask w/ the bag, I inhale the O2, then take the mask off my face to exhale while the bag refills, trying to get the maximum O2. If I leave it on my face, the exhale fills the bag, and I didn't want to re-breath my exhale. Maybe there is a better mask out there, but I haven't been able to find one yet.

Then just yesterday I called Benjamin, to ask him for an update of the FDA clearance that would allow the Quamvis model to go to 1.5 ATA (he said they haven't approved it yet). But it was good to talk to him because he reminded me to keep the concentrator at 7 LPM, which delivers more O2 than going to 10 LPM. He told us that when he installed it, but I forgot, and had turned it up to 10 LPM. So last night and this morning I noticed a difference right away, my legs were less stiff, and my face was pinker. I will keep you posted if I see a better improvements over time.

I think we would have rented a soft chamber from you for sure, because it removes uncertainty about making such a big investment. And I'm sure Oxyhealth would have suggestions on rent-to-own programs and the like. Also, the positive benefits I got from the Fortius only lasted about 10 days, because O2 is a gas and it leaves the body. As you know, to get the healing that lasts, you have to keep doing it for an extended time. So as I told Anne, it seems logical that a patient would go to your clinic to get the big improvements quickly, then get a unit at home to maintain the improvements. That's what I did, and I am very happy about it. Please give my email to anyone that wants to ask me about my experience. Also, the improvement in my eyesight did last! I now wear an old pair of glasses from 2005 that is a weaker prescription.

Even though I was able to get a 3rd treatment for CCSVI vein stenosis at the end of January, this is not a quick fix for me. All the veins that were opened before had recollapsed. So I think bypassing the blocks with hbot is my best solution. I've been telling the other MS patients in WA about your clinic, and that this is how I was able to get relief. It will be great to share the news if you do the rental program.

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