Medtronic invited these patients to share their story candidly. Not everyone who receives Medtronic DBS Therapy will receive the same results as these individuals. Some people may experience significant symptom relief from DBS Therapy, and others may experience minimal symptom relief. DBS Therapy is not for everyone, so it's important to talk with your doctor about the benefits and risks.
One of the hardest parts of Steve Sachs’ Parkinson’s disease was his inability to control his facial expressions. He looked at photos and didn’t recognize himself — he saw a stranger’s face — one with a crooked smile.
He first suspected something was wrong the day he couldn’t loosen his grasp on a coffee mug. The symptoms of the condition worsened over time. Soon, he found himself fumbling to remove money from his wallet, button a shirt, or even maintain his balance. Sachs was diagnosed over 20 years ago — when he was not quite 40 years old.
It was like getting a boulder dropped on your chest, and I cried.— Steve, receiving DBS therapy for Parkinson's disease
But not too long ago, all that changed when Steve underwent surgery for deep brain stimulation or DBS. The results of the procedure have been nothing short of life changing for Sachs. He was able to return to work as an HVAC technician — a job he’d left over a decade ago due to involuntary movements that made his duties impossible.
Sachs generally keeps his device powered on 24-7 but said turning it off really shows how effective the therapy is — tremor returns to his hand and his smile changes. But once he powers the device on again, these effects dissipate.
Instant change. I can feel it in my face. I can feel it in my legs. It frees up my muscles.— Steve, receiving DBS therapy for Parkinson's disease
Before his DBS procedure, Sachs and his wife eagerly awaited the birth of their first grandson. Their anticipation was dampened by the knowledge that Sachs may not be able to hold the baby due to his Parkinson’s symptoms.
Since DBS, this is no longer problem for this proud grandfather as his symptoms are better controlled. That’s why Sachs’ newest family photo is one of him holding his newborn grandson.