TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE (CBS13) — It’s a rare look inside a healing chamber as a local military base treats an 11-year-old boy. J.J. is fighting back from a brain tumor, but it’s now a race against time to help him heal.
Enter: Travis Air Force Base and a medical team on a mission.
A couple of years ago J.J. was just your usual kid who enjoyed doing all of the usual “kid stuff.” Then came the diagnosis that changed everything — a brain tumor.
He had surgery and then radiation therapy. His condition got even worse when the radiation severely damaged his spinal cord. His life now is not so easy.
He relies on a ventilator to breathe. Even so, J.J. still likes to call the shots.
The Air Force gave doctors at Travis Air Force Base the green light to treat J.J. in their hyperbaric chamber.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is used to treat a variety of medical conditions. Patients get a “super dose” of oxygen and that helps their body’s ability to heal. While J.J. was getting treatment, he was watched closely by team members inside and outside the chamber.
After 30 90-minute sessions, his condition has improved.
In J.J’s case, we’re talking both about preventing the spread of further radiation damage but also potentially some healing.
His voice is back, he has a lot of voice.
“I love Dr. Kelly. I love Dr. Kelly,” J.J. said.
“We really had a lot of fun with J.J. I think he really did as much for our team here as we did for him,” Lt. Col. Jason Kelly “Every Friday after his treatment, we had nerf gun battles throughout the clinic here.”
While the medical team helped J.J. get better and had fun with him, he also helped them. By treating him, they have learned so much.
“Because of the care we’ve provided for him, it’s really increased our capabilities for serving our military population,” Kelly said.
J.J’s long-term prognosis is still unclear. Members of the medical team at Travis Air Force Base say they want to keep doing everything they can to help him improve.