This health video looks into ways to help babies who may get deprived of oxygen at birth.
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Beverly Huff: Dr. Walsh, as you can see, we've had a very busy boy these days. Jennifer Matthews: Each year, Beverly Huff writes a letter to Dr. William Walsh. Beverly Huff: Just to show our appreciation for what he has done for our family. Jennifer Matthews: When her son, Cullen was born, he was deprived of oxygen. His parents were told he had an 80% chance of brain damage. Beverly Huff: It was textbook; normal pregnancy, normal everything, and then all of a sudden, everything went drastically wrong. Chris Huff: Why us? That's what I felt. Jennifer Matthews: Under Dr. Walsh's care, Cullen became part of a new clinical trial. Within hours of his birth, doctors placed a cap with cold water on his head to reduce his body temperature to between 93 and 95 degrees. Dr. William Walsh: We were actually worried about the safety of him. Jennifer Matthews: Dr. Walsh says, while brain cooling worked in animals, no one knew if it worked in humans until now. Dr. William Walsh: This is the first treatment that we have had to give us some hope that we could do something. Jennifer Matthews: Doctors say cooling the brain slows down the death of brain cells. The three-year study shows about 60% reduction in disability in moderately brain-injured infants. Dr. William Walsh: There were no life-threatening or serious events from the cooling. Jennifer Matthews: Cullen's parents believe the cooling cap made the difference for him. Beverly Huff: He is right on target. He goes to preschool. He is starting to read. He is writing his name. Jennifer Matthews: And next year, he'll even write his own letter to Dr. Walsh. Chris Huff: All of our appreciation; Chris, Beverly, and Cullen Huff. Jennifer Matthews: This is Jennifer Matthews reporting.