You are here: Home Read My Articles Health Writing

How Deep Brain Stimulation Surgery saved Lesley Barnard's Life

Lesley BarnardIt’s impossible to believe only ten months ago the composed woman sipping coffee opposite had so little control over her body movements that she could not stop her head from compulsively jerking.

Lesley Barnard is the recipient of groundbreaking Deep Brain Stimulation (DPS) surgery, which has miraculously restored quality of life.

Between delicate bites of cake, the 62-year old Parkinsons’s disease (PD) sufferer recalls every moment of her epic fifteen year struggle with Parkinson’s disease (PD).

By all accounts at forty seven, Lesley was extremely attractive with deep brown eyes and thick auburn hair that licked her shoulders.

In 1998 Lesley was Deputy Principal of a training college with 1, 200 pupils under her supervision. Her workload was heavy, her stresses many. She was always an anxious person, who suffered from mild depression, but it never interfered with her work or social calendar.  

When her thumb suddenly began misbehaving uncontrollably, flicking against her forefinger, her GP referred her to a neurosurgeon believing the cause of her embarrassing tremor stemmed from a problem in her neck.


Kwajane Bapela - Pancreas Kidney Transplant

Like any man in the prime of life, 32 year-old Kwajane Bapela is thriving.  It’s almost impossible to believe as he is the first South African to have received two transplants, a kidney and later pancreas from two separate donors- both within a 16 month period of one another.  

Relaxing at his Dobsanville Soweto home he smiles broadly, “I grew up in a close family where we believed in God, and I always knew that one day God would provide a miracle, but I didn’t know how.”

Kwajane was only 12 years old and living in Mareshane, a rural area in Limpopo, when he suddenly lost a great deal of weight and struggled to keep food down. He lay in hospital for two weeks before being transferred to Pretoria’s Rankua Hospital, where he was finally diagnosed with sugar diabetes. For the next two years, doctors couldn’t stabilise his condition, and Kwajane was ill more often than not, missing a few weeks of school every month.

“We had no electricity at home and the only food we could obtain was very expensive.  There were no nearby shops, and it was impossible to get fresh fruit and vegetables which are so important for people with diabetes. I survived on brown bread, meat and pap and very occasionally cabbage.”


A - Z of Plastic Surgery - The Kindest Cut

Most Common Procedures 

Like it or not, we are judged first in life by our appearance.  We live in an ageist society where youth plays a very important role.  This is largely because we follow in the footsteps of the United States of America where people worship at the fountain of youth; where cosmetic surgery is the fastest growing medical specialty. 

Traditionally 90 per cent of plastic surgery operations have been carried out on women. 

But that too is changing fast as more and more men turn towards plastic surgery. 

As author Leah Feldon aptly wrote, “Let me say that I agree with you wholeheartedly, we should not be judged by our appearances….but we are, so get over it.” 

She is right. Tragically much research has gone into showing how people with pleasing looks are more popular, get better jobs and are far more self confident. 

We are bombarded with double messages wherever we turn.  Every cosmetic house boasts beautiful women demonstrating wrinkling and age reducing creams. We  watch fascinated programmes like Complete Makeover and Nip and Tuck, wherein a person, usually a female’s entire image is changed, seemingly overnight and we think, “If only….. If only I could….”    

Programmes like Complete Makeover, don’t point out that it is unrealistic and dangerous to spend so much time under having so much major surgery - sometimes within as short a period as 48 hours.  (Nor, do they honestly talk about plastic surgery being darn uncomfortable and downright painful.) 



“Let me say I agree with you whole heartedly, we should not be judged by our appearances…but we are, so get over it.”-author Leah Feldon

It’s not fair, but it’s a fact. Research proves  people with pleasing looks and trim figures are more popular, get better jobs and are far more self confident.Add to this the fact that according to The United Nations Second World Assembly on Ageing, our life expectancy has increased worldwide by 20 years, and there’s nothing for it but to join the ever- growing queues in a quest for the fountain of youth.


According to Johannesburg based anti-ageing nutritionist Ashleigh Caradas, nutrition is the fuel for all our cellular processes, and as the cells keep renewing themselves, how healthy the cells become on an ongoing basis has a great deal to do with what we do and don’t eat.

Nutritional research proves major causes of ageing relate to three factors: inflammation, oxidation, and glycation.

Thus anti-ageing diets focus on reducing inflammation, boosting antioxidant status and controlling blood sugar.

  • «
  •  Start 
  •  Prev 
  •  1 
  •  2 
  •  3 
  •  Next 
  •  End 
  • »
Page 1 of 3

Contact Lana @ The Writer Studio

Get in touch if you would like Lana to write for your business or publication