A California teen who was nearly killed in a hit-and-run accident last year has made an amazing recovery, due in part to a therapy involving fish oil, his parents claim.
Grant Virgin, 17, suffered severe head, spine and internal injuries after he was struck by a car near his family’s home in Palm Desert, Calif., while taking a walk. The teen was flown to a hospital with several skull fractures and was bleeding throughout his brain, according to CNN.
When Grant Virgin’s parents, John and JJ Bryce, rushed to see their son at the hospital, they found him in a coma. Doctors told the parents their son would not recover, and they had to let him go. But John and JJ Bryce were determined to try everything they could to get their son back.
“It's like, how dare you not fight for my son's life?” JJ Virgin told CNN. “It really took us ... getting very aggressive and assertive to save our son's life, because they weren't going to do it.”
That’s when they decided to try several other, somewhat unorthodox treatments with their son, including giving him high dosages of omega-3 fatty acids, which are found in fish oil. Fish oils are thought to alleviate inflammation in the body and to improve brain function.
"If you have a brick wall and it gets damaged, wouldn't you want to use bricks to repair it?" Dr. Michael Lewis, founder of the Brain Health Education and Research Institute, told CNN. "By supplementing using [omega-3 fatty acids] in substantial doses, you provide the foundation for the brain to repair itself."
Limited research has been done to link fish oil and recovery of the brain, but doctors believe omega-3 fatty acids can help stop inflammation. That may have been the case with Grant Virgin.
"From when he first arrived compared to now is just night and day," Elly Schoap, an occupational therapist at the hospital, told the Desert Sun. "When he left us he was able to walk and talk, but he was still very impaired. … This is why we work in this area. To have him come back and see this kind of success story is just amazing."