Image credits: SUNWORLD

Eoin Maxwell, a 28-year old gym owner from Glengormley, spent thousands of pounds and travelled all over the world looking for a cure to long-COVID.  He is excited to share that he trusts he has discovered a treatment that everyone could benefits from; and it doesn’t require any pills!  Eoin discovered the power of hyperbaric oxygen therapy.

The 28-year-old, who owns Max Fit gym in Glengormley, had to put his life on hold as his energy levels were so low, he couldn’t leave the house.

Determined to get back on his feet he spent thousands seeing specialists and undergoing tests both here and at research institutes in South Africa and Germany.

Last October he discovered hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) and after just a few weeks was amazed to have his quality of life restored.

Eoin has since forked out £15,000 for his own HBOT chamber which he has been asked to hire out to help other long Covid patients.

HBOT is a way to hypothetically turn up the volume of oxygen absorption by increasing the atmospheric pressure.

The pressure inside the chamber is normally two to three times greater than outside air pressure, which means patients are inhaling 100% oxygen.

For Eoin, the therapy has been life-changing.

He says: “I had 18 months of lying on a sofa because my muscle weakness was so extreme.

“I couldn’t go to work and I couldn’t socialise. I couldn’t leave the house.

“I was eventually diagnosed with long Covid at the end of 2020 but the doctor told me there wasn’t much that could be done about it.

“I started to research and get tests done to see how I could get better.”

Eoin paid privately to see a number of consultants including a rheumatologist, neurologist and respiratory specialist and underwent numerous tests including CT and MRI scans.

He also tried numerous health supplements and changing his diet but nothing seemed to work.

He then discovered advances in research into long Covid were being made at the Stellenbosch University outside Cape Town.

The university discovered that blood samples from patients with long Covid contained an abnormal amount of micro clots.

After arranging to fly out and have his blood tested by the research team, Eoin also discovered research that showed raised blood oxygen was also benefitting patients. He discovered a hyperbaric oxygen chamber in Larne and immediately started to book sessions in it.

He explains: “My goal was to get some quality of life back whatever it took. I had booked to go to South Africa in January of this year.

“Last October I read about the benefits of HBOT and found the only chamber there is here is in Larne.

“After about a month of going five times a week I really noticed a difference. It gave me the energy to go to South Africa, without it, the travel would have been a real struggle.

“When I was there I was able to go body boarding and enjoy it. I couldn’t have done that before I tried the oxygen therapy.

“In total, with travel and the medical tests I have probably spent £7,000 of my savings. I was also down my wages because I was unable to work for over a year.

“I am lucky that I part-own the gym with my brother so I had some income.”

With the oxygen therapy giving him the energy to get back to work and out socialising again, Eoin decided to invest in a chamber of his own.

It cost him £15,000 to have one shipped from England and he now uses it at least five times a week.

When a customer at his gym told him about a friend with long Covid, he decided recently to make it available to others.

He says: “It’s amazing how many people you speak to who know someone with long Covid.

“I thought I could hire it out and recoup some of my money while also helping others, so it was a win-win.”

So far there has been huge interest in the therapy, not just from long Covid patients but others recovering from sports injuries as well as cancer patients.

Eoin believes it takes between five and 10 one-hour sessions before the benefits become apparent.

He adds: “This is the only thing that has helped me. I am a lot better but I still can’t exercise and I still have good days and bad days but the bad days are thankfully becoming less and less.

“I can socialise and work again and I feel as if it has given me my life back.”

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