Septuagenarian Mohammed Walji woke his wife Rubab with a cheerful ‘good morning’ and breakfast last weekend. It wasn’t elaborate, just cereal and milk, but she was thrilled.
The Orlando-based retired businessman, who suffers from the debilitating Parkinson’s disease, had not been able to do anything without help for several years.
The improvement is thanks to a surgery — deep brain stimulation — conducted at south Mumbai’s Jaslok Hospital last month.
Walji (71) was diagnosed with Parkinson’s a decade ago. He was taking heavy doses of medication, but his condition kept deteriorating.
The couple approached many doctors in the US but they refused surgery because of his advanced age — the procedure is not offered to those over 65 years in the US. One centre even suggested that he be admitted to a shelter.
“We did not want to give up on him, so we brought him to India,” said his daughter, Siddika Jafra.
Walji was wheeled into the operation theatre on February 25. During a three-hour procedure, neurosurgeon Paresh Doshi implanted electrodes into his brain so they could supply current to the areas that control movement.
Within days, Walji could walk to the washroom, pick up a newspaper and read it — things he couldn’t manage alone before.
“He has regained his independence and confidence. He also does not get hallucinations, which were a side effect of the medicine,” said Jafra.
“And,” smiled Walji, “I have got my appetite back.”