Grant Kozak

DBS surgery a life changer for man with Parkinson’s

Grant Kozak didn’t know if he would ever drive again — until life-changing surgery. He lost his driver’s licence because his Parkinson’s disease was progressing rapidly about four years ago.

Grant Kozak didn’t know if he would ever drive again — until life-changing surgery.

He lost his driver’s licence because his Parkinson’s disease was progressing rapidly about four years ago.

The 53-year-old has been battling the disease since 1995.

But last October, Kozak underwent a surgery called deep brain stimulation (DBS) in Edmonton that has brought some relief and freedom.

The neurological procedure involves implanting small electrodes connected to a battery to target specific areas of a patient’s brain that control body movement. The electrodes send electrical impulses to specific areas to help alleviate symptoms and/or diminish side-effects caused by Parkinson’s disease medications.

Kozak said while the surgery isn’t for everyone, it has been a life changer for him. He said this procedure just shows where medical advancement is heading.

“It shows there is always hope,” said Kozak.

Since the surgery, Kozak feels less fatigue and does not have “jumpy movements.”

“Before I was walking, I would freeze,” he said. “Somebody would have to tap me to keep me going. So that’s gone.”

Kozak takes about 15 pills a day compared to the 24 to 28 that he used to take before the procedure in 2013.

“And I got my driver’s licence back,” said Kozak, a former brand manager Ikon Office Solutions. “That was one of my goals that I never thought I would hit. If I got it, fantastic. I didn’t think it would ever come.”

Parkinson’s is a degenerative brain disorder characterized by trembling lips and hands and muscular rigidity, later producing body tremours, a shuffling gait and, eventually, even incapacity.

“I feel wonderful,” said Kozak. “Now it’s time to give back.”

Kozak is writing a book about his experiences. He is also looking forward to volunteering at the Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre and working on his golf game. An avid golfer, Kozak did not give up his golf clubs while his disease progressed. After the procedure, he continues to be a “terrible golfer.”

Walkers, runners and pledges are welcome at the annual Parkinson Step ’n’ Stride event the Golden Circle on Sept. 6. There is are three and five km distances, followed by a picnic and barbecue.

Registration, coffee and snacks start at 9 a.m.

There will also be prizes, massages and a silent auction.

Register online at

Pre-registration is available on Aug. 27 and 28 only at 5406Db43rd St. Call 403-346-4463 to arrange.

Just Posted

Man accused of manslaughter in fatal collision testifies he was cut off

A Delburne man accused of causing a fatal collision said he was… Continue reading

Class size targets hard to reach in Red Deer

Red Deer Public Schools recently updated its average class size

Lotteries look to younger customers to increase sales

Promoting online and interactive games

Red Deer man helps light up the holidays for others

Jim Elliott’s in his 15th year of mapping the city’s most magical, lit-up homes

WATCH: CP Holiday Train rolls into Lacombe

Kelly Prescott performed for hundreds of Central Albertans

Barry Cooper: Separation has become a real possibility, thanks to Ottawa’s abuses

In the past couple of weeks, a retired senior oil executive, Gwyn… Continue reading

Sex assault trial for former gymnastics coach resumes in Sarnia

SARNIA, Ont. — The trial of a former high-ranking gymnastics coach accused… Continue reading

Victims of former ski coach Charest say they were ‘sacrificed’ by Alpine Canada

MONTREAL — A lawsuit filed Wednesday against Alpine Canada by three victims… Continue reading

Emily Blunt on the ‘daunting’ task of playing Mary Poppins

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — Emily Blunt loves a challenge, and in the… Continue reading

Tommy Chong says Canada’s weed legalization has kept ‘underground market alive’

TORONTO — Tommy Chong has a pass, man. While some Canadians who… Continue reading

Apple deepens Austin ties, expands operations east and west

AUSTIN, Texas — Apple will build a $1 billion campus in Austin,… Continue reading

Trump comments upend U.S. approach to Huawei, trade talks

WASHINGTON — The United States and China have taken pains this week… Continue reading

Most Read