For 25 years, Charlie DeBoard lived with an essential tremor. It affected his hands and then his voice, progressing so much that he could barely talk. Embarrassed by the tremor, he gradually spent less time out with friends and family and almost retired. His family doctor recommended he see a specialist at UAMS.
When Dr. Erika Petersen, a UAMS neurosurgeon, discussed surgery to implant wires in his brain to connect to a neurostimulator, he was immediately intrigued. Working in the family business at DeBoard Electronics for more than 40 years, he was familiar with wiring sound systems of all kinds and quickly grasped how the thin wires implanted in his brain would connect with the transmitter in his chest. Those wires gave him his life back.
“This was very innovative surgery, and it got me back in the world. I was very fortunate to have doctors with this expertise so close to home. Otherwise, I would’ve had to go out of state, or even worse, still be trapped by my tremors.”