New procedure helps sufferers of list of neurological conditions
Take three brothers and a big backyard and you're bound to see a game of football.
But what you don't see is what's making it all possible for thirteen year old Austin.
“They always tell me I’m bionic,” said Austin.
Austin has dystonia.
“He stood up, every day for a nine month period - never sat eating, drinking, going to school, falling asleep at night with john or sitting next to him standing next to him on the bed, “ said Austin’s mom.
“It was like being crushed and drilled by a hundred thousand pounds, it was terrible,” said Austin.
Drugs weren't working and his last hope was an experimental treatment.
Stacy Merritt coordinates clinical trials at the University of Florida Center for Movement Disorders. She says surgeons place pacemaker-like power packs in the chest and run leads to the head. Those are implanted into the brain and they are implanted close to or affecting a particular target, depending on what the neurosurgeon wanted to do with the target.
Experts believe the controlled electrical shocks help a long list of conditions like Terret’s and Epilepsy, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer's-- even Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and Depression.
Austin's stimulator stays on all the time.
Using a remote control, he can increase voltage if he needs to.
“It was different, it was really kind of different. It was weird and cool at the same time,” said Austin.
Austin says it worked so well, he surprised everyone; playing basketball--just a week and a half after his surgery.
“When Austin took the court, not a dry eye in the place, just all those parents, and kids tearing up watching this miracle unfold, and Austin being completely oblivious to it. Austin had no idea that he was in the center of the show, he was out there playing with his friends, and happy to be back,” said Austin’s mom.
“That is when I knew it worked, when I made the basket and I came back, and I could back pedal. That's when I knew something changed, and my life was totally different now,” said Austin.
A son, and family--grateful--for this high tech fix.