Hyperbaric Chambers and the catch up I nearly never got to have.

In June last year I was lucky enough to catch up with an old friend. When I say lucky, I mean it. While we rarely get to see each other, we often catch up over the phone – I’m lucky he can do either of those things as a few months before we caught up, he was almost killed in a diving accident. I had no idea know what hyperbaric oxygen therapy does before that.

Brett isn’t the kind of guy to talk about things that aren’t of much consequence. He is a man of few words, but not because he doesn’t like to talk. He just hates talking about inconsequential stuff. Our last catch up was the most talkative I’ve ever seen him. He told me about why he was considering buying his own portable hyperbaric chamber. Melbourne is on the cutting edge of modern medicine. He’d been speaking with a guy who sells portable hyperbaric chambers directly to public. He says they’d saved his life.

Brett had been in a critical condition after he’d suffered the bends on a dive, and been hit with pressure sickness. I wasn’t even sure what pressure sickness was, I’d actually thought modernised scuba gear had cancelled it out and since pearl divers were the last people I’d heard suffered from it, I had no reason to think about it.. But I was wrong, and obviously it’s quite real.

Brett told me about his treatment and what truly saved him from the most dangerous period of his life. While of course the accident itself had been horrific, the aftermath was equally frightening. He’d missed out on a spinal injury but needed a number of hyperbaric chamber treatments to assist the damage done to his body from rapid depressurisation during the dive. During the time it had taken him to recover, Brett was adamant that he needed to find a way to make hyperbaric therapy more affordable.

Listening to him speak made me think about how frightening it must be to have no idea about what the best thing for your body would be. I know he’s serious about needing to invest in his own.