Proudly serving his country — Marine Corporal David Durrance did a total of three tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. He came home unscathed — only to be injured New Year’s Day 2006 — a tragic accident nearly killing him — when a 200-pound light pole on Bourbon Street crushed him.

“I had two strokes, bled out twice, 30 days in a coma. I was as bad as you can be and still be alive,” recalled Durrance.

Durrance spent 4 1/2 months in a V.A. hospital — learning how to walk, talk, and eat again. He was on the road to recovery — then a year later he noticed a sharp pain in his right foot.

“They did an MRI. Did biopsies looking for cancer, but never found anything,” said Durrance.

Unable to ever pinpoint the problem, Durrance began managing it with pain medication prescribed by his doctors at the V.A.

“The V.A. puts bandaids on things. I knew along with my wife that I was slowly but surely getting hooked on pain medication. I couldn’t walk without some sort of narcotic. I saw my life was dwindling away because of pain medication,” said Durrance.

Desperate for an alternative — his wife inquired about the hyperbaric oxygen therapy being done at Integrated Pain Management of Alabama.

Dr. Manchikes has treated more than 20 veterans like Durrance with traumatic brain injuries. His is one of about 100 clinics treating veterans with HBOT around the country. Like the others, Durrance started doing 90-minute sessions in the hyperbaric tanks — where he receives 100% oxygen under pressure. “The body starts to build new blood vessels in between the injured cells in short — you restore the architecture of the brain. You restore the hard drive back to its original state so it starts to function again,” explained Dr. Manchikes.

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