My Latent Self Anne Ricketts

My Latent Self

Recovering My Soul After Brain Injury
Recovering My Soul After Brain Injury

My Experience with HBOT – Michael Coss

(Please note that neither Michael nor I endorse unapproved links to this page, Thank you… There will be a new section on HBOT treatment coming soon.)

My name is Michael Coss. I am married, and the proud father of twins, a son named Nathan and a daughter named Danielle. They are now 3 years old. On May 18, 2006, I was travelling from

Vancouver to Kelowna with my wife Ann and then seven-month twins, when catastrophe struck on the Coquihalla and lost control of the van, which rolled over at least one and half times.

Miraculously, my wife Ann and daughter Danielle escaped with only minor injuries, but Nathan and I were not as fortunate. Nathan spent several weeks at BC children’s Hospital with head injuries.

When the medical services arrived at the scene of the accident, I was unresponsive, with evidence that the airbags had deployed and I was restrained by my seatbelt.

Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) rating at the scene was 8 out of a possible 15, indicating a comatose state. I was subsequently transported by air to the Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops, where I was assessed by neurosurgery, and bilateral ventricular shunts were inserted.

On May 30, 2006, I was transferred to Royal Columbian Hospital to be closer to my family. There, I was admitted to the critical care unit and subsequently transferred to the neurology unit where I remained comatose for several months and was unable to follow commands.

Upon hearing of the accident, my parents flew from Quebec City where they were living, to be by my side. My injuries were nearly fatal and despite comprehensive treatment at two hospitals, I remained in a coma for six and half months. Doctors told my family that my chances for recovery were remote. My wife Ann was devastated, facing the challenge of raising our two babies without a father.

Recommendations were made to my family to look for a long term facility to take care of me for the rest of my life. But they did not know Michael Coss. My family had researched Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) the medical use of oxygen at a level higher than atmospheric pressure. The treatments are used in Canada, more commonly used in Asia and Europe, but they are not approved by Health Canada and therefore are not covered by medical insurance. The more they learned, the more they came to believe that these treatments may work for me though they were prohibitively expensive and came with no guarantee. My friends and co-workers saw a chance to mobilize and make a difference in my life. Within a few weeks, funds were raised by donations from friends, family and my former colleagues at Molson Breweries.

My mother accompanied me from RCH to the Richmond Hyperbaric Health Center, 5 days a week via ambulance, and for a few months, put a sponge with some water on it while I was in the chamber which would make me swallow and equalize the pressure within my ears. It worked and on Christmas Eve 2006, the Coss family received the greatest gift they could hope for. After three HBOT treatments and half a year in a coma, I awoke and uttered my first words. Only three months out of my coma, I learned about Rick Hansen Wheels In Motion, an annual event held in communities across Canada to raise funds for research and to improve the quality of life for people with spinal cord injury. I was truly inspired by Rick Hansen even before I was injured and I wanted to be part of it. In the midst of my rehabilitation, I canvassed my network and once again they rallied in support. Friends, families, and

Molson co-workers and other corporations helped me raise over $22,000. My team (Team Cosco) not only won the award for the Top Fundraiser in Canada for Wheels in Motion 2007, we also set a fundraising record for the entire six-year history of the program.

From that moment on, I was on the road to recovery. Through a long, intensive and gruelling rehabilitation, I re-learned how to talk, eat again, and I am currently relearning how to walk. The old Mike Coss has died and is now gone away, the new Mike Coss is re-born and he has a renewed focus. I currently reside in a group home near my wife and children whom I see several times a week. My long term goal is to be an able and active participant of my family’s lives. I am very THANKFUL of my support network, including my family, my friends, co-workers, all of the support members, including OT/RN/Dietician and Speech and Language Pathologist and my residential care workers who provide the Activities of Daily Living support.

My family is the reason why I work so hard on my rehab each day. My wife and children, my parents and brothers and their families, my friends and my co-workers are the reason that I get up each day and work so hard. I have begun to write a book about my experiences and have plans to speak publicly to share my inspirational story. Ultimately, like my hero Rick Hansen, I plan on raising money to provide funds to other brain injured individuals who face similar challenges and who could benefit from HBOT but are unable to pay for it. I am not ready yet to run the Boston Marathon but at least I am training for it.

From: Summer 2009 HEADLINE magazine with gratitude.

Please use the following links to read more about Michaels inspirational and fascinating story. Michael is a determined and driven man…

Langley Advance – Michael Coss keeps defying the odds…

Langley Advance Inspiration – Michael Coss completes 1km of the Terry Fox run…

Global TV BC – The Courage to Come Back

Indulge – The Power of Family

Read reviews of Michael’s book The Courage To Come Back



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3 Responses to “My Experience with HBOT – Michael Coss”

  1. Michael Gray says:

    This is a very inspirational story Mike, I applaud you and your family for researching HBOT to accompany you in your recovery.

  2. Juliette Lucarini Harch says:

    Dear Michael, Your family does great research, they found HBOT for you. Thank you for sharing your testimony and spreading the word about the benefits about HBOT. Recovery is a long road requiring perseverance, determination, focus & courage. Bravo to you and your family! HBOT appears to speed up the road of recovery like no other therapy I’ve ever seen. You are a powerful example that HBOT works, thank you for helping others by writing your story. Sincerely, Juliette

  3. Denise Mercado says:

    This is a GREAT story! Thank you for sharing! We have opened a new HBOT clinic in Fayetteville, North Carolina and hope to reach out to many in need of HBOT services including our veterans from Ft. Bragg.

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