DENVER (CBS4) – It has been a year since a Colorado boy had brain surgery to help him with a rare movement disorder, and the results are remarkable.
Marquis Burleson, 9, was diagnosed with a disorder called generalized dystonia, which is like a short circuit in the body’s motor program.
The nine year old had the same operation that helps patients with Parkinson’s Disease. The “deep brain stimulation” process involved having two holes drilled in his skull. Tiny electrodes were threaded deep into the part of the brain responsible for movement and electrical pulses were sent to jam the abnormal signals.
Before the surgery Burleson would twist and turn and was mostly unable to control his movement. He depended on his mother, Paula, and others for everything.
“It’s totally different than a year ago,” Paula told CBS4. “And now he’s seeing what it’s like to be a child.”
Burleson has a sort of “brain pacemaker” in his chest. His mom can increase the stimulation so he can gain even more control.
“I saw change within like 2 months of the surgery. He was able to control his hands better,” she said.
Now, Burleson is able to wrestle with his big brother and talk like a champ.
“I can feed myself,” he told CBS4’s Kathy Walsh. “I can hold a cup and drink it.”
“You can talk clearly,” Walsh told Burleson.
“Yup, I can talk better,” he said.
He also showed Walsh how he can get up from a sitting position.
“Look at you. That’s amazing,” Walsh said.
“Thanks,” he said.
The next step is to get Burleson walking. Then, the boy once trapped in his body will truly be free.
Burleson is progressing so well that his mother believes he could be walking in the next few months.