PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. — Imagine one day, you suddenly and randomly lost your hearing. It happened to a Pinellas County woman last year. She had just about given up hope when she learned about a unique treatment at a local hospital that gave her new hope and a new appreciation for life.
"So basically I just came from the gym, I did a hard workout. And driving home, I just started to get really dizzy and everything was spinning." After heading to the hospital and several long doctor visits, Arlene Martin was diagnosed with sudden hearing loss in her right ear.
"I could hear, but it was all like discombobulated and it was just like you're in a haunted house actually. It was devastating," Martin said. Her doctor suggested trying a hyperbaric chamber.
"That helps push oxygen, not only into the blood system to the tissue level so the cells get a higher percentage of oxygen and the tissue around the cells, the fluid that bathes the cells also have 100% oxygen," Barbara Admire, a physical therapist at HCA Florida Pasadena Hospital said.
She was with Arlene for all of her treatments. "We see each other 5 days a week. I sit with her for two hours. I'm next to her as she's sitting in the chamber. I talk to her, she asks questions."
Arlene says that was very important. "They were very encouraging like, you're going to get your hearing back."
It was special for Barbara, too. "As somebody gets better, there's nothing better than that. There really isn't. You cry sometimes, you're scared. To help encourage somebody during their scary times, it's wonderful. It's a gift."
Arlene did regain most of her hearing and came back to the hospital recently to visit the nurses and doctors that gave her hope.
"Just never give up. Never lose hope. Do not lose hope."