James was born with a heart condition which resulted in him having a heart attack and subsequently open heart surgery at 8 weeks old. At some stage, after his surgery, while in intensive care James suffered a stroke. James' system was so compromised he contracted two hospital bugs. On top of it, all James had chronic eczema which also had to be controlled as it allows infection into the body, is itchy and painful.
To control eczema we would wet wrap James twice a day to keep his skin moist and to cover it to stop him ripping at himself. Wet wrapping involved bathing, steroid cream, emulsifying ointment and bandages. We also had to dress James in long pants and shirts and put socks on his hands to stop him scratching. It was difficult to keep him cool in the heat and humidity of Northland. James spent his days scratching himself. Due to his stroke and lack of energy caused by his heart, James could not sit up so would wriggle on the carpet to scratch himself. James' development was very slow. He was on constant antibiotic/thrush cycle - antibiotics to calm the skin, fungicides to control the thrush. James would only sleep for very short periods as he did not have the energy or the ability to eat large volumes of foods and the itching skin would disturb him. Hence James condition impacted on the whole family. We all survived on very little sleep.
How Long Before Improvement Noticed?
Within one week of using flax seed oil James' skin started to improve. After one month eczema no longer was a constant irritant to him and after three months I was just using the emulsifying ointment.
Impact on Health
No more wet wrapping, antibiotics or steroid creams and he could wear tee shirts.
James' life was no longer consumed with scratching himself and his development both, mental and physical, picked up. He had the extra energy from the flax seed oil to give him the extra boost so he had the extra energy to eat more. His body was no longer fighting infections and he was off the antibiotic/thrush cycle. James started putting on weight and we were able to stop using prescription food additives. At his next cardiology clinic, his heart medication was stopped as his heart had started to develop normally and no longer needed the extra support. He now only had to take a small dose of aspirin due to the scarring caused by the heart attack. James would have eventually come off his heart medication but I believe that the flax seed oil helped to speed up the process as it allowed his body to repair itself rather than fight infection. Who knows the oil may have helped his heart muscle just as it speeds the recovery of injured horses.
Since we first started using the flax seed oil I have found out the Omega-3 helps reduce cholesterol and helps the brain, both excellent reasons for us to continue using flax seed oil and why it's part of our whole family's diet. James' heart will never be normal - it has less muscle due to his heart attack so it is very important for him to keep the arteries unclogged and supple.
James started school in March 2006. James loves school and is a very happy boy. We still have our struggles but eczema is not one of them. I often get comments on James beautiful skin and shiny hair.
What happens if you stop?
James has flax seed oil every day - if I ever notice his skin drying out I up his dose and it soon clears up. We have been using flax seed oil for 4 years now and it is just part of our lives.
- Brett and Kristy Kewene