KULR (Billings)- Laurie Wilson, who at one point was facing a full mastectomy, has almost completely healed.
While beginning treatment for her breast cancer, Wilson suffered a severe reaction to the radiation therapy. Thanks to the work of a hyperbaric chamber, her pain was greatly relieved
So what goes on inside a hyperbaric chamber?
Well, hyperbaric oxygen therapy. This therapy accelerates the body's natural healing process by increasing the amount of oxygen in our blood.
"We're breathing about 20 some percent oxygen and a person under pressure is actually able to breathe about 100% oxygen," said Billings Clinic Nurse Practitioner, Judy Raboy.
Tissue that is injured requires more oxygen to heal. Many difficult-to-heal wounds are deprived of it; an issue that hyperbaric oxygen therapy speeds up by delivering oxygen to an injured area.
In Wilson's case, her left breast.
In this chamber, oxygen and pressure are increased and the process begins. A process that worked, but took its time doing so.
"I ended up doing 60 total treatments. So 5 days a week for about 2 hours," said Wilson.
Wilson, a nurse at Billings Clinic, expressed her relief when she started to notice her time in the chamber creating results.
"It was amazing, you know just to see little bits of progress. I checked in with the Blue Care team every week, Judy looked at my burns, and we would measure them to see that they were actually closing and healing, and the pain was getting better. It was amazing," said Wilson.
As for her cancer diagnosis, she is hopeful.
In the meantime, Wilson has been back to work at the clinic and has a follow up scan in July.