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Omega-3 fatty acids credited for comatose teen's miraculous recovery

Grant Virgin reportedly recovered from a coma and brain damage by taking mega-doses of fish oil supplements.
CNN screencap

A teenage boy who suffered severe brain damage after a horrific hit-and-run car accident has miraculously recovered after taking mega-doses of omega-3-rich fish oil, his family told CNN.

Grant Virgin was mowed down by a car 16 months ago near his California home. The half-dead boy was immediately airlifted to a nearby hospital, where doctors discovered he had suffered a torn aorta, traumatic brain injury (including a fractured skull and brain bleeding), and numerous broken bones.

Doctors told Grant's parents, John and JJ Virgin, their son had little chance of survival, and advised them to prepare for the worst.

"They told us to let him go," said JJ Virgin. "It's like, how dare you not fight for my son's life? It really took us getting very aggressive and assertive to save our son's life, because they weren't going to do it."

The Virgins decided to take Grant's recovery into their own hands, and began rubbing progesterone cream into his skin after being told by friends that progesterone can relieve brain inflammation and promote neurological recovery.

Shortly afterward, Grant, now 17, emerged from his coma and uttered a few simple words like "Let's go" and "I love you."

The Virgins felt a flicker of hope at such seemingly minor progress. "When your kid is in a coma, and then coming out of a coma, you watch every nuance," said JJ Virgin.

Nine weeks after Grant's accident, his parents began administering mega-doses of high-quality fish oil intravenously after being told by friends this could fight brain inflammation and improve Grant's brain damage. The omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil have been shown to improve brain (as well as heart) health.

It's not surprising the Virgins opted for diet therapy to heal their son: JJ Virgin is a well-known nutrition expert who wrote the book The Virgin Diet: Drop 7 Foods, Lose 7 Pounds, Just 7 Days. She sought advice from Dr. Barry Sears, a leading omega-3 expert.

In 2006, Sears (author of the Zone Diet), consulted on a case where a miner, Randy McCloy, recovered from brain damage by taking high doses of omega-3 fatty acids. Sears said there are other cases similar to those of Grant Virgin and Randy McCloy.

"Maybe the work with Randy was just a lucky break, but we've now done it seven times," said Sears, a biochemist. "So far we're 7-for-7 in severe brain trauma."

Fish oil reportedly helps repair the brain by controlling inflammation (or damage). Sears isn't the only medical expert sold on the health benefits of high-quality dietary fats.

Dr. David Perlmutter recently told me a high-fat ketogenic diet can prevent and even reverse Alzheimer's, dementia and ADHD. Perlmutter, a neurologist, detailed his research in his bestselling book, Grain Brain.

Two days after Grant Virgin received the high doses of omega-3 fish oil, he was able to carry on a detailed phone conversation with his mom — something his parents called an absolute miracle.

"We had been told he'd never be able to recognize anybody, he will never be able to focus his eyes, all the grim stuff," said John Virgin.

Now, 16 months after the accident, Grant is doing well, and his parents are convinced he'll be better than ever. "We're not expecting Grant to get close to where he was before," said his father. "He's going to be better than he was before."

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