Tourette's Patient Heads For Surgery

Tourette's Patient Heads For Surgery

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Ed Yeates reportingAfter more than a year, including six months under sedation, a Cedar City man with uncontrollable muscle spasms and tics is about to get what he's been waiting for.

You may remember Peter Jensen from our report last November. He has one of the most severe cases of Tourette Syndrome doctors have ever seen.

But as of this hour, he's finally on his way to Cleveland to try something that just might cure him.

Several weeks ago, Peter was pulled off medications to get ready for an experimental implant he was beginning to think would never come.

The tics, the spasms from his Tourette Syndrome have only worsened. In fact, his doctor put him in a nursing home, sedated, simply to keep his body from wearing out.

But now it's packing day, and he's taking a flight to the University Hospital in Cleveland, Ohio for a procedure that's only been tried on one other patient with Tourette's.

Peter Jensen: "I think the greatest thing about it is it's something I thought I would never see in my lifetime."

For that first patient, Jeff Matovic, the brain implant worked, shutting down 85 to 90 percent of his tics.

Will it now happen for Peter? It's a risk worth taking, he says, not only for him, but his wife and kids as well.

Roshana Jensen: "I think it's been trying not to have a father figure around all the time to play with and romp with and do what they normally do."

Peter Jensen: "I think there is just going to be a wonderful feeling and answer to prayers - as well as just a time for peace and quietness, I think."

Peter will have his first surgery this coming Friday, and a second surgery a week later. Then in the third week they turn the implant on.

Pacemakers on each side of his chest will send signals to electrodes implanted in the brain, and if they work, the tics stop.

Peter Jensen: "It will be party on its own.”

Peter will stay in Cleveland until the middle or end of July. It will take a while to custom adjust the pacemakers to his needs and to stop most if not ALL of the tics.

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