It’s been eight weeks since the Sanjay Gupta MD show featured how fish oil was used to help Bobby Ghassemi recover from a severe traumatic brain injury two years ago. I had a chance to see Bobby this weekend along with his family. He is doing great, even better than when I saw him in March. His father, Peter, reminded me that all we asked of the family is to help spread the word about using omega-3s for TBI. In addition to the CNN segment < http://www.cnn.com/2012/10/19/health/fish-oil-brain-injuries > that received almost 12,000 recommends on Facebook, the Ghassemi family has received numerous calls asking for help and guidance in similar situations. At the Brain Health Education and Research Institute, we have received hundreds of emails asking for advice. I’ve talked with mothers, fathers, husbands, wives, and doctors from all over the world including Dubai, India, New Zealand, Australia, and Canada – all wondering what else can be done when the doctors tell a family there is nothing that can heal the brain except time.
But the most remarkable story so far is one that I learned about the end of November when I got a call asking if I knew about the story of Selah Clanton – and I didn’t. On the evening television news in Rochester, NY, was the story of Selah, 8-years old, who had been in a coma since August after she plunged into the Erie Canal. Initially in a deep coma, Selah is now making significant strides, which her parents believe is the result of receiving fish oil. You can read about it and see the segment at < http://www.13wham.com/mostpopular/story/Selah-Clanton-fish-oil/Ap-mAidGTUW0lYa7e7jLdA.cspx >.
“You get to rock bottom and you ask, ‘Can’t anybody see some glimmer of something?’” Selah’s father said. That glimmer came from the news when Selah’s mother, Yvonne, saw the CNN segment about Bobby Ghassemi. Asking the doctors to try omega-3s, the doctors at the Children’s Hospital agreed to give it a go and Selah has come out of her coma.
While it is fantastic and I sincerely hope Selah has a meaningful recovery, what is remarkable to me is learning that parents are asking what else can be done and taking control of their children’s healthcare. I set out with the Brain Health Institute to educate patients, parents, and providers that more can be done than just watch and wait. I’m proud that we are reaching people beyond those we touch directly. My biggest hope is that parents rise up when a loved one is hurt or in a coma and say to their healthcare provider, what Selah’s parents said – THERE IS MORE THAT CAN BE DONE!