Tourette's Patient Undergoes Successful Experimental Surgery
A young man's head bares the scars of a last-ditch operation to help him lead a normal life. Electrodes implanted deep in his brain are wired through his body to an electrical stimulator embedded in his abdomen.
"There are 130 impulses per second hitting that contact," says Dr. Alain De Lotbiniere, a neurosurgeon at Northern Westchester Hospital.
The hope is that deep brain stimulation will counteract his Tourette syndrome, one of the worst cases ever recorded.
Before the operation, Tyler Boshae was in excruciating pain, his body contorted in agony; he was unable to control any of his movements.
Tyler was first diagnosed when he was 9 years old. His mom had to brush his teeth because tics caused Tyler's body to jerk uncontrollably, and his dad had to carry him to the dinner table.
As a teen, the neurological condition grew more violent. Tyler would put a rag in his mouth to keep from biting through his cheek.
He says his life became a living hell. At any moment he would punch himself in the face, turning his eyes black and blue.
Tyler's dairy farmer parents began a fundraising effort that raised $127,000 for the experimental operation.
"If I die on the operating table it would be better than this," said Tyler before the operation.
So was the operation successful? INSIDE EDITION caught up with Tyler and his wife Cassie back home in Missoula, Montana. The couple is expecting a baby boy.
Tyler can now pour himself a glass of milk, which before would have seemed impossible.
"It was a nightmare I thought would never end," he tells INSIDE EDITION.
Tyler, who once never left the house, now enjoys long walks with his wife and even tags along to the supermarket.
"This operation has definitely given him his life back," Cassie says.
The operation didn't cure his Tourette syndrome, but those once-violent tics are now under control.
"It's like I've been reborn into a body that I have control over," he says.