(CBS4) – When Ben Petrick began as a rookie for the Colorado Rockies in 1999 his future looked bright. Rockies team leaders thought he was the kind of player who could hit 40 home runs and steal 40 bases in the same season.
Unfortunately it never worked out for Petrick, and now we know why.
After five seasons in the major leagues it became clear he was beginning a struggle with Parkinson’s Disease.
“I knew that I could feel myself not doing what my body wanted to do. And I knew it was just a matter of time,” he said.
In 2009 Petrick underwent a surgical procedure that failed after a dangerous infection set in. Then, last November, he tried another surgery.
With the procedure — deep brain stimulation — doctors implant two electrodes inside the patient’s brain to target the area that controls movement. A device that gets implanted in the patient’s chest transmits signals to the electrodes.
Petrick says he now feels a new sense of control over his body. He describes it as a “glimmer of hope.”
He’s gained weight and cut his medication nearly in half.