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Life Returns to Normal ~ Hyperbaric Treatment


I suffered a traumatic brain injury in 1982 while living in America as a child. I was riding my bicycle (without a helmet, as was customary then) when I was struck by a Ford Thunderbird driven by an elderly driver. I bounced off the windshield, flipped spectacularly through the air and hit the asphalt headfirst, immediately losing consciousness.

Over the next years following the accident, I began to decline in my studies; going from being an A student to mostly B and then C grades. My memory became hazy and as my memory declined so did my grades. My ability to multitask and my near photographic memory became almost non-existent. However, these changes were so gradual that they essentially escaped my notice.

I became an electronic and software engineer and managed to earn an MSEE (Masters Degree in Electrical Engineering) despite the aforementioned difficulties, in part because those fields required application rather than memorization. Eventually I switched career paths from engineering into law in 2003.

Although law school was not conceptually difficult (it was in fact easier than electrical engineering) it did require extensive memorization and the ability to multi-task; abilities that although I was unaware of it at the time, I lacked. These issues were brought to the forefront in 2005 when I was faced with academic problems at the end of my second year of law school.

I moved to Israel in May 2007, leaving law school unfinished. In July 2008, I read an article in the Israeli daily Haaretz about a woman who had restored her memory with hyperbaric oxygen (HBO) treatment. She had suffered memory loss following a traumatic brain injury she incurred in an auto accident. Inspired by the article, I contacted Dr. Shai Efrati, the director of the Hyperbaric Oxygen Institute at the Assaf Harofeh Medical Center. I began treatments in November of 2008.

Prior to the treatments, a (SPECT- Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography) scan of my brain was taken as well as a neuro-cognitive test. Towards the end of December 2008, after 40 hyperbaric treatment , the neuro-cognitive test was administered again.

The results were very promising and I continued with 20 more treatments. By the end of January 2009 I had undergone 60 treatments and a second SPECT scan and subsequent neuro-cognitive test showed further improvement to both the damaged areas of my brain and my memory retention.

The SPECT scans showed significantly improved blood circulation to the damaged areas of my brain. To me however, the most important proof of the treatment’s success was the subjective differences I experienced as a result; the mental haziness I had lived with began to improve and I began to remember what I had done the day before, the week before and even months before.

I remembered dreams, which I had not had the ability to do for many years. Childhood memories which had been lost in the abyss of my mind began to emerge once again. The ability to remember numbers, events, names, etc improved as well as my ability to learn and absorb Hebrew.

Subsequently, I completed just over 100 treatments and discontinued them only after I noted no further improvements.  I am a more capable, higher functioning and happier person due to the treatments I received; the results have been nothing short of excellent. I feel as if I have been given the proverbial ‘new lease on life’. My multi-tasking ability is back as is my productivity and concentration, all of which has lead to a great improvement in the quality of my life.

Hyperbaric Oxygen Chamber

Hyperbaric oxygen treatment of neurological cases is considered a breakthrough in the rehabilitative process. Through the use of this treatment, the cognitive and neurological abilities of a patient can be improved. This provides support for the rehabilitative process following a head trauma. The treatment includes neurological monitoring and assessments to gauge cognitive improvement.

Over 100 stroke patients have received treatments in the Assaf Harofeh Medical Center’s hyperbaric chamber in the past year. Evidence indicates that large areas of the brain that have been partially damaged by a stroke can be rejuvenated by hyperbaric chamber treatment. There is also further evidence that children who have experienced brain damage at birth can experience significant improvement following hyperbaric treatment.

Even adults who suffer from Cerebral Palsy (CP) have been able to benefit from the treatment and have been able to gain bodily and cognitive functions after years of inactivity. The treatment incorporates pre-treatment testing and monitoring of both cognitive and neurological functioning of the patient.

Hyperbaric chamber treatments have a multitude of applications. The center has performed treatments for dental rehabilitation on patients suffering from radiotherapy damage of the jaw bones. As a part of the process, hyperbaric treatment significantly improves surgery success rates and allows for an easier recovery following surgery.

Hyperbaric chamber treatment following orthopedic injuries improves the bone building process thereby contributing significantly to recovery. The treatment also reduces edema in the fractured area and hence reduces pain at the first stage following an injury.

Hyperbaric chamber treatment is especially advantageous in complex fractures where unnecessary complications can be avoided.  At the Assaf Harofeh Medical Center, hyperbaric treatments are at the cutting edge of the rehabilitative process.

Mr. Seva Brodsky was a patient treated in the Hyperbaric Chamber at Assaf Harofeh Medical Center. The success of his treatment brought about the need, on his part, to share his feelings and good fortune as well as providing a direction for other patients in need.

Dr. Shai Efrati M is Head of the Research & Development Unit of Assaf-Harofeh Medical Center,Head of the Hyperbaric Unit, a Specialist in Internal Medicine, Hyperbaric Medicine, Nephrology and Hypertension, Chairman of the Israeli Society for Hyperbaric & Diving Medicine and he is well known for awards received through the American Society for Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics.  For more information, please contact Nathalie Steiner at

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