After a shocking diagnosis, this patient is grateful for the life-changing results she has received at the Jim Pattison Outpatient Care and Surgery Centre.
Growing up, it was her mother’s love of cooking and sewing that inspired Elizabeth Giesbrecht to train in home economics at UBC and become a high school home economics teacher. She loved her work and happily committed herself to volunteering in her community, but in her late fifties, she sought medical advice when her feet became heavy and she was struggling to get in and out of her car, or even walk through doors without hitting the doorpost.
In 1995, Elizabeth and her husband David were stunned by her diagnosis of Parkinson’s, a neurodegenerative disease. From then on, Elizabeth was treated at UBC Hospital until 2016, when she was referred to Dr. Anish Kanungo, a neurologist specializing in movement disorders at the Jim Pattison Outpatient Care and Surgery Centre. From their home in Abbotsford, they travelled twice yearly to see Dr. Kanungo in Surrey and try different medications. “He’s an amazing neurologist,” says Elizabeth. “He listens carefully. He’s thoughtful in his counsel!”
Parkinson’s has greatly impacted the couple’s lives. Before retirement, the two enjoyed volunteering in the community and travelling to places like Prague for David’s library work, as well as Japan, where they visited the exchange student they had once hosted. As symptoms progressed, they scaled back and in 1998, at 60 years old, Elizabeth realized she needed to retire. David retired two years later and now spends his time caring for Elizabeth, who relies on a wheelchair for her routine care, as well as caregivers who come into the home to help her get ready for the day.
The two are thrilled with the significant changes Elizabeth has experienced since October 2020, when Dr. Kanungo was able to test Elizabeth’s reaction to Movapo, newly approved therapy in Canada. For them, the use of Movapo resulted in a change from 7 tablet doses a day, which was a very significant pill burden for Elizabeth, to 4 tablet doses a day. The introduction of Movapo allowed Elizabeth’s tremors to reduce significantly. Today, Elizabeth continues to find inspiration in the life-changing care happening at the Jim Pattison Outpatient Care and Surgery Centre thanks to wonderful supporters who make innovative health care unstoppable!