Oxygen therapy helps boy say ‘mama’

Jordan Cortez, five, is comforted by his mother mother Sandra in the hyperbaric chamber while receiving oxygen therapy for his autism.  Pictures: Bruce Rollinson.
Jordan Cortez, five, is comforted by his mother mother Sandra in the hyperbaric chamber while receiving oxygen therapy for his autism. Pictures: Bruce Rollinson.
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Jordan Cortez said the word “mama” for the first time after undergoing specialist treatment in an oxygen chamber.

The five-year-old youngster, who was diagnosed with autism three years ago, has undergone treatment in the pressurised chamber and is showing results that have delighted his family.

Before undergoing the treatment Jordan, of Woodhouse, Leeds, would not respond to his name, nor would he react when he heard different sounds or make eye contact.

But after undergoing the therapy he is now more alert and trying to communicate.

His mother, Sandra Cortez, 46, said she was thrilled after her son, who is a pupil at Green Meadows School, in Guiseley, adding: “It’s just tremendous.

“I know that sometimes he can understand me but he couldn’t express himself and that’s very upsetting for me.”

She added: “He can look at people and objects directly now. If I call him, he looks at me.

“In the last week or he has started to make pre-verbal sounds and he is trying to vocalise things more generally. At night now if he is scared, he will call out ‘mama’.”

Jordan’s mother heard about hyperbaric oxygen therapy, where patients breathe in pure oxygen in a pressurised diver-style chamber. The treatment enriches the oxygen content in tissues and blood.

The West Yorkshire Multiple Sclerosis Therapy Centre in Rawdon, Leeds, has offered the therapy since 1985 and has two chambers where patients can undergo treatment for MS and other conditions or injuries.

It costs £120,000 a year to run the centre, which is a charity, and fundraising is continuing to support the centre which had seen donations fall during the economic downturn.

Mrs Cortez added: “I’ve tried a lot of therapies previously and not seen any improvement. With this there have been definite improvements.

“I would like all children to know about this treatment.”