16-year-old Grant Virgin was struck by a hit-and-run driver in the family’s Palm Desert, California neighborhood last September. He had to be airlifted to a trauma center from the scene and suffered multiple injuries that included traumatic brain injury, many bone and spinal fractures, and a torn aorta. His parents were told by doctors that it was unlikely that that their son would survive the night.Despite being advised by doctors to “let him go,” JJ and John Virgin became determined to try to find anything at all that might help their son survive. They began to aggressively pursue any avenue that might pay off, even defying doctor’s orders with untested therapies along the way. It was this determination that eventually led them to try fish oil, which is high in omega-3 fatty acids, to help repair their son’s damaged brain.
Following multiple surgeries and a stint on a ventilator that resulted in stabilizing the suffering California teen, the family was told to “just wait” because “the brain’s got its own time schedule.” Again, this answer didn’t satisfy Grant’s parents. They continued to research any and all possible methods of assisting their son.
At the suggestion of a friend, they began massaging progesterone cream onto the skin on Grant’s head with the understanding that progesterone cream had reportedly been linked to reduced inflammation in the brain in other cases. Shortly thereafter, his parents reported that Grant began to show signs of waking up, uttering short phrases and fluttering his eyes.
They then learned of fish oil as a possible treatment for traumatic brain injury. They contacted a leading expert in this treatment technique to consult about the possibility of using it for their son and decided to give it a chance. They began sneaking small amounts of the substance into his feeding tube and when he was transferred to a long-term facility, they informed the staff there that he had been receiving a much higher therapeutic dosage than he actually had been, which the new facility then began to give him in accordance with the parents’ instructions.
Just two days later, Grant’s mother, JJ, received a midnight telephone call from her son. Staff at the facility where he was recovering report that woke up and asked for the phone to call his mother. JJ says that they had an entire conversation, but that when she woke up in the morning, she thought it must have been a dream. It wasn’t.
Today, many months past his accident, the California family reports that Grant is doing very well, and that they expect him to be “even better than he was before.” Though he still reportedly struggles with speech, his body is said to be nearly completely healed.
As this California family has credited their son’s recovery to the omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil, they are anxious to spread the word about this substance that was a miracle healer for their son. Researchers are reportedly looking into more studies on the effect of the substance on traumatic brain injury as well. Limited studies have been conducted before with promising results. Grant’s case joins a small number of other documented cases, totaling about seven, that have demonstrated highly successful outcomes with the use of fish oil to treat traumatic brain injury.
By Michele Wessel