Fereidoon “Feri” Ghasri is now 62 years old. When he was 27, a tremor appeared in his right hand. At the time, Peri was in the midst of his engineering studies and was about to marry. The tremor grew to the point that he became unable to draw and had to drop out of engineering school.
Eventually, Feri immigrated to Israel from his native Persia. Feri began to compensate by using his left hand, which still had a tremor, but to a much lesser degree than his right hand. Feri had several family members – his father, uncle, and cousins – who also suffered from this illness. While it manifested in older age for his relatives, Feri showed signs when much younger.
Struggling with Essential Tremor
Feri was afflicted with essential tremor (ET), also known as familial tremor. ET is the most common movement disorder. While it is usually seen in people over 65, ET can also afflict younger individuals – like in Feri’s case. Unfortunately, ET is progressive, meaning it becomes worse with time. Although the exact causes of ET remain unknown, there is a hereditary component to the disease.
Feri recounts, “I’ve managed to live a full life despite my illness. I got married and I have three daughters and a grandson. But my quality of life was compromised. I was avoiding social events and never ate or took a drink in public. I endured unpleasant comments from people around me who were unaware of my condition. Mentally, it was tremendously difficult.”
Hope from Focused Ultrasound (FUS) Treatment
“At one point, I injured my left hand and was unable to use it for a while as it was in a cast. That was the breaking point for me. Fortunately, I heard about a new treatment that was being offered in Israel – FUS. I went online and read everything there was about it, and I decided I had nothing to lose. Thirty-five years of suffering was enough for me. I went to see Dr. Simon Israeli-Korn, senior physician in the Neurology Department at Sheba Medical Center, and he took it from there.
When the doctors told me that I was cleared for the procedure, I felt as if they were giving me another chance for a normal life. I was the second patient to receive the FUS treatment at Sheba, and I underwent the procedure on December 31, 2016 – truly a New Year’s gift. I thank God for this decision every day since then.”
Feri was admitted to the hospital a day before the treatment and released a day following the procedure. The FUS treatment was performed by Dr. Zion Zibly, a senior neurosurgeon at Sheba, while Feri was inside an MRI machine. FUS is a non-invasive procedure where ultrasound waves are used to ablate tiny areas in the brain responsible for the tremors. The entire procedure took about four and half hours. Once completed, the benefits were immediately apparent.
As Feri related, “I tried to draw and write just before the procedure, and it was shaky and uneven. I then tried again immediately after the treatment, and my family and I were amazed. I could draw and write clearly! I could take a drink of water without spilling it! It was beyond exciting – it was the beginning of my new life.”
Since the surgery, Feri has returned to work, where his colleagues have noticed his vast improvement. He now takes great pleasure in dining out with his family and simply enjoying all the many things he was deprived of for decades.
“I encourage anyone suffering from essential tremor to undergo this treatment. It opens up the world for you. Undoubtedly, Sheba Medical Center is THE place to go when you decide to regain control of your body and your life.”
Essential Tremor is treatable with advanced medicine and quality care.
Contact Sheba Medical Center for a consultation about possible FUS therapy