Michael is doing well. He is much more vocal these days, especially at bedtime. After much testing, the
hyperbaric chamber is almost ready for use. These guys used a different design than mine:
Home-made hyperbaric chamber explodes--two men blown to bits
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by JULIAN RADEMEYER
POLOKWANE, South Africa (2 Feb 2004) -- A retired surgeon and his brother died in a freak accident when a homemade
oxygen chamber exploded in the backyard of a Polokwane house - blasting the remains of one of them more than 10m away.The
blast ripped open the steel wall of the cylinder, which was between 10cm and 15cm thick, and shattered neighbours' windows. The
gruesome incident occurred while the doctor, from Modimolle, was visiting his brother at the Dorp Street house. Dr Paul Eloff, 76,
was undergoing treatment for poor blood circulation inside the pressurised chamber when it exploded on Friday afternoon. His
brother, Gerhard, 66, a retired auditor, was standing near the heavy steel cylinder with his 27-year-old son, Georg. Dr Eloff's remains
were found about 10m away from the cylinder. Its hatch lay about 15m away.
Georg escaped the brunt of the explosion and suffered only minor injuries.He managed to drag his father around the corner of the
house, away from the cylinder.He was later admitted to the Limpopo Mediclinic in Polokwane where he was treated before being
discharged yesterday. None of the occupants of the house, who included Gerhard's wife, Isabel, and a one-year-old child, was
A witness, Marieta Herselman, said police cordoned off a large area around the house. "The remains were taken away in plastic
bags. It was horrific. It was like scraping leaves together in your garden and putting them in plastic bags."
Otto said family members told police the hyperbaric chamber had been with them "for years and that they regularly used it for
treatments". "The whole thing exploded. Basically, it looks like a rain tank, except it's smaller. It now looks like a firecracker after it's
been set off." According to a family member, the chamber was constructed and operated by Gerhard Eloff.
Hyperbaric treatment, once used primarily to relieve divers of a dangerous condition called decompression sickness or "the
bends", is now used to treat a range of ailments.
These include carbon monoxide poisoning, gas gangrene, problem wounds, anaemia, soft tissue infections and bone infections.
Hyperbaric therapy is also sometimes used to treat burns.
It has been 3 months since Michael's last stem cell injection. His improvements, if any, are slight. He appears to a
little more alert, but it is hard to gauge. It takes time.
There is really nothing new to report, it has been busy so I have not had time to finish any projects, perhaps this
Today is Michael's 16th birthday. This the day that most teens love, it is the day that they would get their driver's
license and possibly be allowed to drive a car which allow them some freedom. Michael will not be driving today,
he is still trapped inside his body. He will be pushed around in his wheelchair and get to ride in a handicapped
van. I don't see this as one of Michael's Happiest Birthday.
Michael is doing well these days. We are giving Ambien another chance to see if it will stimulate something deep
inside of his brain. I will start on his hyperbaric chamber this week; the tank will be here tomorrow. I will have a
few modifications and some testing to do, but hope to have it ready by next week.
Michael enjoys the water so I started digging a hole to make a roll in pool for the summer. It won't be anything
fancy. It will be appx. 12'x 12' x 4' deep. I made good progress today and I am sure I will be feeling it tomorrow.
This project will take a little longer because I am 47 years old and using just a shovel. I could rent a backhoe but I
would rather use the money for the materials. Besides, I can use the exercise.
I have added a new link if you care to check it out.
Yesterday morning Michael decided to pull his G-tube out just as the bus stopped in front of the house to take him
to school. I'm sure he didn't do it on purpose, but it did cause a minute of panic; it is really strange to see a hole in
your child's stomach. I put in a new tube and he made it on the bus.
Still waiting for the tank to make the hyperbaric chamber.
Michael is doing well. His cold never did get a good grip on him, so all is well.
Silver Sands School has helped us out once again by testing Michael, which is required to receive benefits.
According to a study to be published in the American Journal of Physiology-Heart and Circulation Physiology, a
typical course of hyperbaric oxygen treatments increases by eight-fold the number of stem cells circulating in a
patient's body. Stem cells, also called progenitor cells are crucial to injury repair. Hyperbaric Oxygen is basically
oxygen delivered under pressure. A hyperbaric oxygen chamber is a sealed chamber, that is pressurized to 1.3 to
1.5 atmospheres. Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy allows a patient to breathe up to more than 4 times the normal
amount of oxygen while they are in the pressurized chamber, thereby greatly increasing the oxygenation of all of
their organs, tissues, and body fluids. It is the pressure of the chamber that allows for the much greater absorption
of the oxygen provided. Breathing 100% pure oxygen outside the chamber will not significantly increase your
oxygen uptake by the cells at all. When a patient is in the chamber, the increased pressure causes the blood plasma
and other liquids of the body to absorb much larger quantities of oxygen, greatly increasing oxygen uptake by the
cells, tissues, glands, organs, brain, and all fluids of the body. This becomes a “gold mine” of oxygen, which can
then be utilized by the body for vital functions.
This increase in oxygen allows for increased circulation to areas in spite of swelling or inflammation. At the same
time, the increased pressure decreases the swelling and inflammation.
This additional oxygen helps in the healing process and enhances the white blood cells’ ability to fight infection. It
can promote the development of new capillaries, the tiny blood vessels that connect arteries to veins. It also helps
the body build new connective tissue. HBOT helps impaired organs to function better.
We want to give Michael and the stem cells every chance, so I am in the process of building a mild hyperbaric
chamber for him. It will allow him to be at 1.5 atmospheres where he will breathe pure oxygen. A hyperbaric
chamber is simply a chamber that is pressured, in this case to 4.5 to 7 psi. The pressure must be regulated,
which can be accomplished with a regulator and a relief valve as backup. I will monitor the pressure with a dial
and a manometer. Since carbon dioxide is exhaled, we do not want it to build up,so it must either ran through
soda lime, ( a CO2 scrubber), or the chamber must be vented. I have chosen the vent method.
I have done many experiments including pressurizing his bedroom to using vinyl material for a collapsible
chamber. I was going to use a large propane tank, but the cutting and welding involved to modify it would be a
real pain, so I opted for a water tank. It only weighs 80 pounds and since it is made of plastic, the modifications
can easily be made.
It will cost roughly $500 to do this project, which is much cheaper than the $10,000 to $20,000 if I purchased an
inflatable chamber or the $100 + per hour at a hyperbaric clinic. Everything is in place and I am waiting for the
water tank to arrive. I will update and let everyone know how the project is going.
Not much going on here. Michael is doing ok. He still has a little cough, but nothing serious.
The new wheelchair and tilt table requests have submitted to insurance. Hope to receive them soon. The people
at my place of employment raised money to help pay for therapies for Michael, which is very much appreciated.
However, the money will have to go for his nutrition instead, since Horizons Blue Cross Blue Shield of New
Jersey refuses to pay for his formula. I've heard it said that 'God will never give you more than you can handle',
but I don't think he ever dealt with BCBS.
Michael had a little problem going to sleep last night. Once he did, all was well. It is a school day for him; a typical
Monday. His little cold will not prevent him from attending. I will check on him throughout the day.
Michael is trying to get sick again. He has a little cough and congestion, but no fever. I am not worried as we are
past 60 days since his last stem cell injection. This means that he can run a little fever and have antibiotics
without the cells being damaged.
I am in the process of filling out the forms necessary for Michael to be considered for benefits from the
government. Without the assistance, we will be in big trouble. The people that I have talked to at Agency for
Persons with Disabilities have been nothing but helpful, I was pleasantly surprised.
This is an email that I received after the arrests were made in Michael's case. I did not answer at the time because
I had more pressing issues. I found the time today. I do not know this guy and he does not know me. However, it
did not stop him from judging me or expressing his opinion. If he had taken the time to read the site, he would
have seen that I have said many times that Michael made the decision to drink that day and is paying for it. I have
also said that every one else involved will pay for their part in this. It's called justice, hence the name of the site. I
have had many insensitive comments since Michael's drowning and have addressed each one of them. I
included his address and phone number for anyone that is interested.
On the other end of the spectrum, I have received emails that brings me to tears by their kindness. Mary, who I
have never met in person, is my spiritual guide. She always says the right thing at the right time. Teresa from
Utah is helping us with the insurance and med waiver situation. Joe and Austin from Pensacola have offered their
help in so many ways. Koo, Donna, and so many others have been there for us.
I have not lost faith in the human race, I just have to keep in mind that the gene pool sometimes goes horribly
From: "James Dudgeon" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: alcohol and youth
Date: Sun, 14 Aug 2005 14:14:09 -0500
What a terrible thing this must be for you. I can not fathom your grief. I do wonder though if You as parents share in the culpability for
this tragedy? I hardly think it appropriate to blame others entirely for what michael chose to do.
1047 Darlington Oak Dr
Niceville, FL 32578
It's official, BCBS will not pay for Michael's nutrition. I "discussed" this with the case manager as well as many
other things. I got off of the phone very upset. The case manager was not happy either. If Dave ain't happy,
nobody's happy, kind of a rule of mine. The phone call really motivated BCBS because within hours, Michael's
new wheelchair and stander were on order. He also has an appointment to be fitted for AFOs and hand splints. In
addition, we have located a place in town to provide therapy, but due to the nutrition situation, it will have to wait.
He can either eat or have therapies and eating wins out. I will continue to provide his therapies myself until we
can come up with something better.
When we returned from Atlanta in late 2005, I went down to our local Social Security office to apply for SSI and
was turned down within minutes. We were then told that we did not qualify for Medicaid either. She did not
bother to tell us that we could apply for a Med Waiver that opens many doors to us, including Medicaid. I found out
about the waiver through a friend a visitor to this site. I started the process yesterday. There is a waiting list, but
I'm sure it is worth the wait. While I am waiting, I will be contacting as many government agencies,
representatives and senators that I can to find out why the Social Security office did not inform us about the
waiver. And the fight continues.