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

WATCH: An ‘Eggstemely Fun Easter’ at Bower Place in Red Deer

Bower Place made sure Red Deer families were able to have an… Continue reading

RDC cancels championship-winning golf program due to tight finances

Short season, small number of student golfers were also considerations

Fire investigators comb through industrial fire wreckage looking for answers

Industrial building in north Red Deer was completely gutted in Wednesday morning fire

Time for a central Albertan in cabinet, says chamber of commerce

Central Alberta had no cabinet ministers in last government

WATCH video of Innisfail resident creating the world’s biggest caricature

Watch as Innisfail resident Dean Foster creates the world’s biggest caricature of… Continue reading

Notre Dame rector: “Computer glitch” possible fire culprit

PARIS — A “computer glitch” may have been behind the fast-spreading fire… Continue reading

Former journalist pleads guilty to robbing two banks in Medicine Hat

MEDICINE HAT, Alta. — A former journalist arrested almost two years ago… Continue reading

Austria fears for three top climbers missing in Banff National Park

BERLIN — Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said Friday his thoughts are with… Continue reading

As Vancouver fights over 4-20, Seattle’s Hempfest enjoys tolerance, some support

VANCOUVER — They both came from humble beginnings: small protests against marijuana… Continue reading

All eyes on the surging Greens as Prince Edward Island goes to the polls

After a brief provincial election campaign devoid of drama, voters on Prince… Continue reading

North Dakota company where 4 were slain seeks normalcy

MANDAN, N.D. — Camaraderie was so important for the “coffee club” at… Continue reading

Trump blasts ex-advisers who say he tried to stop Mueller

WASHINGTON — A day after celebrating the release of the Mueller report… Continue reading

Sanders claims she didn’t lie, despite Mueller finding

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s spokeswoman Sarah Sanders pushed back Friday against… Continue reading

Most Read