New hyperbaric clinic in Fargo seeing long-haulers from COVID-19

A new hyperbaric clinic in south Fargo is witnessing an unforeseen group of patients: COVID long-haulers.

Rick Graalum receiving hyperbaric treatment for symptoms related to long haul COVID-19.
Ryan Longnecker / WDAY-TV
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FARGO — Rick Graalum never thought he would find himself laying in a hyperbaric chamber, but he has good reason.

"I had COVID and I actually had COVID pretty bad," Graalum said.

Recovering from COVID-19 was tough for Graalum. He contracted a case of pneumonia that he just couldn't kick.

"What concerned me was the fact that my lungs, I couldn't walk up a flight of stairs without stopping halfway, and not being able to breathe," Graalum said. "I had migraine headaches. I was so fatigued I couldn't get out of bed."

Graalum came to the newest hyperbarics clinic in town, Swanson Hyperbarics Clinic , where he has received 20 treatments.


"After my first treatment, my migraines never came back," Graalum said. "I was seeing almost a total recovery after six treatments."

The clinic now has several two-ton hyperbaric chambers. The doors alone weighs 800 pounds.

"Yes, it's oxygen and pressure," Paul Watts, director of operations with Swanson Hyperbarics, said.

Once a physician gives the green light, patients like Graalum go in the chamber for the hour-long process. The clinic says the treatments are for everything from anti-aging to Parkinson's, sports injuries and COVID long haulers.

"80% of our patients were long haul COVID and we fixed them all," Watts said.

While medical and drug companies often butt heads with hyperbaric clinics, more hospitals are getting them, and both private hyperbaric clinics in town have a physician meeting with every patient who walks in.

A national expert on hyperbarics is speaking Saturday, March 5, at the Avalon Event Center in Fargo.

Related Topics: COVID-19 RELIEFFARGO
Kevin Wallevand has been a Reporter at WDAY-TV since 1983. He is a native of Vining, Minnesota in Otter Tail County. His series and documentary work have brought him to Africa, Vietnam, Haiti, Kosovo, South America, Mongolia, Juarez,Mexico and the Middle East. He is an multiple Emmy and national Edward R. Murrow award recipient.

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