Segments in this Video

Preparing for the Hospital (02:03)


Andy McDowell spends time with his family before checking into the hospital for deep brain stimulation surgery. He was a successful marketer, in love and expecting his first child when he was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease; he was 43.

Andy's Daily Life (02:27)

Andy vacillates between emotions. He works part-time and takes care of the kids, while Kate works full-time. Andy partnered with Trevor Moodie three years ago— he feels guilty that the firm is not expanding as quickly as he hoped.

Lifestyle Changes (02:52)

Andy and Kate sold their home and live more simply. Andy works with a trainer every week to improve his motor function. He created the video "Smaller" to explain Parkinson's to his children.

Contemplating Surgery (02:14)

Andrew Johnson had deep brain stimulation (DBS) which subdued the symptoms. Andy hopes to have the same procedure.

Deep Brain Stimulation (03:48)

Andy meets with neurologist Dr. Barry Snow. DBS does not affect Parkinson's but can improve motor functions. While there are risks to the surgery, it will not worsen symptoms. Johnson created a video demonstrating his physical reactions to turning off the DBS unit.

Andy Arrives at the Hospital (01:07)

Andy's surgery takes five hours. Andy spends three days in the ICU afterward because of an unexpected seizure.

Five Days Later (02:23)

Andy returns home. When he awoke in the recovery room, he could immediately tell a difference when the electrodes are turned on. He shares a poem he wrote the night before the procedure.

Living Bigger (02:06)

Kate works full time for a company that is understanding about Andy's diagnosis. She refuses to dwell on the negative side of the disease, and prefers to think about the additional time Andy has been given because of the DBS. The family is struggling financially.

Two Weeks After Surger (03:32)

Andy is encouraged by the DBS and happy he can now sleep through the night. Liz visits and helps with the children and the chores. Andy talks with his daughter about his upcoming second surgery and her fears.

One Day After Second Surgery (02:39)

Dr. MacCauley explains the surgical procedure. Doctors test Andy's response to the different ports and connections. They are encouraged.

Ten Weeks Later (02:14)

DBS has improved Andy's quality of life; he can now use metal silverware and drink hot drinks. He is slower, but he prefers it to the tremors.

Credits: Andy McDowell: Switched On—Against the Odds (00:41)

Credits: Andy McDowell: Switched On—Against the Odds

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Andy McDowell: Switched On—Against the Odds: Inspiring Stories of Disability

Part of the Series : Against the Odds: Inspiring Stories of Disability
DVD (Chaptered) Price: $129.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $194.93
3-Year Streaming Price: $129.95



In this video, doctors perform risky and complicated brain surgery on Andy McDowell to help reduce his Parkinson's tremors. Watch him prepare for the surgery and follow his recuperation on this episode of Against the Odds.

Length: 29 minutes

Item#: EDP115796

ISBN: 978-1-63521-147-4

Copyright date: ©2014

Closed Captioned

Performance Rights

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Not available to Home Video customers.

Only available in USA and Canada.