Seymour toddler shows improvements from vegetative state after nearly drowning
Maddie is more than halfway through his first round of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy. He's expected to undergo four rounds of treatment.
SEYMOUR, Ind. (WDRB) – A Seymour toddler considered in a vegetative state after nearly drowning is slowly recovering.
Although 2-year-old Maddie was crying Thursday despite being comforted by his great aunt on a fall afternoon, his cries aren't necessarily a bad thing. What's happening inside Maddie is called neuro storming.
“It’s basically the brain trying to rewire itself," said Maddie's mother, Christeen Elicio. "It's electrical signals just kind of shooting off everywhere in the brain trying to figure things out."
In August, Maddie nearly drowned but was saved by two Seymour Police officers. He was hospitalized for weeks, completely immobile and considered vegetative. That is until just recently, thanks to Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy. Maddie and his mom sit in a pressurized chamber for an hour and 15 minutes, twice a day, in Cincinnati.
“Maddie puts a mask over his head," Elicio said. "It's a whole-head mask, and they pump in 100 percent pure oxygen into the mask and he breathes it in."
Maddie has had 23 treatments and is slowly starting to improve. Before this, he didn't respond to any visual stimuli.
“And now he will blink when you put your hand in front of your face ... so that's an improvement we made,” Elicio said.
He's also able to move his arms.
“It's kind of like the new feeling with a newborn, and they crawl for the first time,” Elicio said. “Except for there's a lot more emotion to it this time around.”
Maddie will undergo three rounds of the oxygen therapy thanks to donations from the community and fundraisers.
“Without the hope and the faith of this community and this family, we wouldn't have nowhere to go,” said Jeannette Giles, Maddie’s great-aunt.
The fourth and likely final round is coming from the Eden Carlson Foundation. Eden has a story similar to Maddie’s. She went from a vegetative state to on her feet and smiling after oxygen therapy -- the same outcome this Seymour family is hoping happens for Maddie.
“We all just pray every day that Maddie gets better, and we do everything we possibly can,” Giles said.
Maddie's family is hosting a motorcycle run to continue to raise money for oxygen therapy treatments. The ride starts at On the Rox in Seymour on Nov. 5. The cost is $20 a rider. For more information, you can visit the Team Maddie Facebook page.
The family has also set up a donation page to help cover the cost for the oxygen therapy.
Copyright 2017 WDRB Media. All rights reserved.