Neurosciences Patient Story: Wayne Beno

You could search the entire state of Wisconsin and be hard pressed to find a better example of a true outdoorsman than Wayne Beno.

Fishing, boating, hunting, romping through the woods with his three dogs, Wayne loved and did it all. Then life changed dramatically. Wayne was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.

“For the next thirteen years I took 28 pills a day, had horrible side effects, and even with all those pills I still had lots of shaking and tremors. I only went out during peak times, when I was looking and feeling my best. But that wasn’t often and I really couldn’t do much of anything. I felt like the life I loved was over,” said Wayne.

Then Wayne’s doctor in Green Bay suggested he consider a breakthrough surgical option being offered at Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin called Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS).

Deep Brain Stimulation, offered by the Neurosciences Center, is a surgical option used to treat disabling movement disorders related to Parkinson’s disease, dystonia, essential tremor and more. DBS is not a cure, but significant improvement is seen in most movement disorder cases, with relatively low risk to the patient.

Parkinson’s patients like Wayne can expect DBS to improve symptoms of tremor by 80 percent to 90 percent, but the surgery is not commonly available since it requires specialized equipment and a highly trained staff. Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin is the only center in Wisconsin with a comprehensive team now offering this effective surgical method.

In addition to his doctor’s recommendation, Wayne had a neighbor and fishing buddy who had the DBS procedure at Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin. His friend’s experience convinced homebody Wayne that the 180-mile trip from his home in Crivitz, Wisconsin could be well worth the effort.

And was it ever.

“Wayne’s response was so good he didn’t need the traditional physical therapy that is sometimes required post-operatively. He was off all medication within three or four weeks,” commented Chris Sheridan, RN, program coordinator for the Parkinson's and Movement Disorders Program.

“It was the best thing I ever did. I’m down to zero pills a day and I don’t shake at all,” reports Wayne. “Before the surgery, I felt crummy every single day. Now I feel like my old self. I’m back to business as usual which for me means fishing, fishing, and more fishing, every day of the year. Things just couldn’t be any better!”