Cameron Winchell was 19 years old when a Xanax overdose left him with brain injury and respiratory failure. It’s been a long road back, but through faith, family and OmegaRx fish oil, Cameron gets a little better each day in his journey to one day walk again, and perhaps even get back onto a skateboard.
By Corina Winchell
My son Cameron was a 19-year-old young man with his whole life ahead of him. He was charming, loved to befriend others, and captured your immediate attention with his bright smile and infectious personality. He was always full of life and outgoing. Cameron had a love for extreme sports, skateboarding and roller hockey. Then it all fell apart.
Cameron battled with anxiety and depression, and was prescribed Xanax. Cameron fell deeper into depression and a distraught emotional state.
On September 9, 2014, Cameron was found unresponsive from a Xanax overdose and was taken to St. Joseph’s Regional Health Center in Bryan, Texas. He was diagnosed as having a severe hypoxic ischemic brain injury, respiratory failure and autonomic nervous system storming. He required intubation, mechanical ventilation and was sedated for several days. About a week and a half later, he underwent a tracheostomy and placement of a feeding tube. A few days after that, an EEG showed diffuse slowing of his brain activity. In the days that followed, Cam opened his eyes at times, but did not follow commands or track with his eyes.
Once stable, Cameron was transferred to Texas NeuroRehab Center in Austin, Texas. It was then that I learned about OmegaRx fish oil from another patient’s mom who was also dealing with a brain injury and had taken omega-3s. This parent gave me my first bottle of OmegaRx fish oil for Cameron to try.
In November of 2014, Cameron began taking OmegaRx liquid fish oil via his feeding tube. Cameron stayed in a persistent vegetative state till late November, then slowly began to emerge. Although Cameron could not speak or make any sounds, he began smiling at appropriate times in a conversation, and occasionally would look in the direction of his parent’s voice. Soon after, he passed a swallow test and began eating pureed foods.
By January 2015, Cameron became more alert as he continued to emerge. He continued to improve in physical therapy and his speech got better. He was able to convey Yes/No answers, and could laugh again, showing that his understanding of humor was returning. By June 2015, he said his first words in a low whisper, “I love you” to his mother, and “I love you Daddy-0” to his dad on Father’s Day. By Fall, Cameron continued to improve on eye tracking and was able to read some words on his iPad.
Throughout Cameron’s journey, Dr. Sears’ OmegaRx Fish Oil was a staple in his recovery.
On January 24, 2017, Cameron finally made it home. Today, Cameron is doing well and his comprehension continues to improve. He watches Family Feud regularly to make him think and trigger his brain – and he’s pretty good, too. He speaks with others and his humor is surreal. Cameron was always a jokester, and his humor, good manners and courtesy are all constant in his personalty. Today he continues to improve his trunk control and can stand in a standing frame for up to 45 minutes at a time. He works hard daily to regain full command of his arms and legs to someday walk again.
When asked what has been the essentials that have contributed to Cam’s continued progress, I joyfully smile and reply: “faith and fish oil.” With all Cameron has overcome these past 2-½ years, we can’t wait to see what the next couple of years has in store for his continued recovery.