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 www.parkinsonalberta.ca.

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

crhyno@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

Police is still looking for Second World War army passport owner

No one has claimed a rare Second World War German army passport… Continue reading

Red Deer readies for supervised drug consumption site

Now all we need is an application for one

Rent subsidies for Asooahum Crossing tenants sought from Red Deer city council

Coun. Lee feels the city should be ‘last resort’ for housing subsidy requests

Castor murderer denies he’s a killer

Jason Klaus tells courtroom he loved his family who were murdered in December 2013

WATCH news on the go: Replay Red Deer Jan. 21

Watch news highlights from Red Deer and Central Alberta

RDC chosen to host 2019 men’s volleyball national championship

Sports enthusiasts in Red Deer will have more to look forward to… Continue reading

Police is still looking for Second World War army passport owner

No one has claimed a rare Second World War German army passport… Continue reading

DJ Sabatoge and TR3 Band kick off Sylvan Lake’s Winterfest 2018

Central Alberta’s youngest DJ will open for TR3 Band kicking off Town… Continue reading

Two Canadians, two Americans abducted in Nigeria are freed

Kidnapping for ransom is common in Nigeria, especially on the Kaduna to Abuja highway

WATCH news on the go: Replay Red Deer Jan. 21

Watch news highlights from Red Deer and Central Alberta

Liberals quietly tap experts to write new paternity leave rules

Ideas include creating an entirely new leave benefit similar to one that exists in Quebec

Insurers say Canadian weather getting hotter, wetter and weirder

Average number of days with heavy rain or snow across Canada has been outside norm since spring 2013

Are you ready for some wrestling? WWE’s ‘Raw’ marks 25 years

WWE flagship show is set to mark its 25th anniversary on Monday

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month