Connect with us

Art

State-of-the-art laser technology in Alberta helps people living with epilepsy – Global News

Published

 on


A young Calgary man’s life has been forever changed after undergoing a new procedure only recently made available in Alberta.

For most of his life, 18-year-old Andrew Najar suffered from a unique form of seizures.

I would randomly laugh. I never knew when this would happen,” Andrew said. “It was really hard to live with because I lost confidence in everything.”

Read more:
Canadian hospitals using new therapies to treat critically ill COVID-19 patients

From childhood, Andrew suffered from involuntary laughing spells. His parents didn’t realize something was wrong until Andrew had a full body seizure when he was just 12 years old.

“For the first 12 years of his life, we didn’t realize his seizures were actually seizures,” Andrew’s dad, Silverio Najar, explained. “We thought he was laughing because he heard a funny joke or something.”

Story continues below advertisement

Andrew was taken to see a neurosurgeon at the Alberta Children’s Hospital who found a benign tumor at the base of his brain.

Read more:
New simulation at Alberta Children’s Hospital helps crews prepare for emergencies

His laughing episodes were actually gelastic seizures, which are rare and usually involve a sudden burst of energy often in the form of laughing.

“I was really afraid. I didn’t know I was going to have full body seizures,” Andrew said.

As the years went by, Andrew was certain he would miss out on many life experiences including learning how to drive. But on the cusp of turning 18, Andrew’s doctors were able to present him with a permanent solution.

State-of-the art technology had arrived in Alberta in order to help epilepsy patients stop their seizures.

“Finally, there was something to do for his case,” Silverio said.

“The results are amazing, just amazing.”

Thanks to support from both the Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation and the Calgary Health Trust, Andrew is one of two children in western Canada to undergo the life-changing procedure.

Read more:
Vancouver family pleading for help to save their daughter who has a rare neuromuscular disorder

Story continues below advertisement

The treatment called Laser Interstitial Thermal Therapy (LITT) uses a laser probe to heat up and destroy tissue responsible for causing seizures.

“You have to place the laser in exactly the right spot,” neurosurgeon Dr. Walter Hader said. “In Andrew’s case, it was a target of six to eight millimetres in size.”

At the end of the procedure… we take the laser out and literally put one or two sutures in the skin and most patients will go home the next day,” Hader explained. 

Read more:
Coronavirus: Alberta Health issues guidelines for a safe and ‘scary for the right reasons’ Halloween

Prior to LITT, Hader said patients would have to undergo invasive surgery which involved a longer recovery time and there was a risk of infection.

“This is a much less invasive way of doing it,” Hader said. “It’s all been a team effort.”

Andrew said since receiving the treatment at the end of August, he’s now thinking of getting his learner’s licence and more importantly, he hasn’t had a single seizure.

“None, zero,” he said. “It’s just me laughing, it’s not a seizure and it feels so much better.”

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Art

Red Deer city council opts to leave public art selection to a commission – Red Deer Advocate

Published

 on


Red Deer city council quadrupled the size of municipal projects that would trigger the one-per-cent budget spending on public art — raising the threshold from $250,000 to $1 million.

But most councillors refused to takeover decision-making authority on public art installations from the public art commission.

This last suggestion was floated by Coun. Vesna Higham, who mentioned two controversial Calgary public artworks that were largely derided by taxpayers as a waste of money. One of them was a large metal hoop, costing $400,000.

Higham said she didn’t feel right allowing non-elected officials on a commission to have the authority to spend taxpayer money. People elect city council for that purpose, added Higham, who wanted an art committee to make recommendations to council, who would have final authority.

But other councillors refused to wade into the thorny area of second-guessing what a group made up of art experts, as well as general citizens, decides.

Coun. Tanya Handley said art is subjective. Contradicting a committee’s opinion would not only be awkward but would indicate little respect for the group members’ time or expertise, she added.

Three years ago, council decided to upgrade a former art committee to the present art commission specifically to give it the authority to adjudicate art without having to get council’s approval.

Two un-elected citizens are appointed to serve on the Municipal Planning Commission, entrusted with making major development decisions — so why not trust un-elected citizens with the selection of public art, a councillor noted.

Coun. Lawrence Lee said having an art selection commission has worked well, with few people taking issue with installations such as the bronze statues of young hockey players and a referee in front of Servus Arena. “We have to trust in the process.”

Coun. Dianne Wyntjes did not favour raising the threshold for when one per cent of a municipal construction project’s budget would need to be put aside for public art. It used to be when projects hit $250,000. Administration had recommended this be raised to $500,000.

But most councillors eventually voted to raise the threshold to $1 million after hearing that only once in the last decade had a project worth less than $1 million triggered a public art component.

While the regional economic slump was one rationalization given for this change, Lee also reasoned that a certain amount of money would be needed to pay the artist for a quality artwork that was substantive and meaningful.

Wyntjes believes that public art adds so much to a community’s public spaces that it’s one of the most important legacies for any city council.

red deer city

Get local stories you won’t find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Art

Ingersoll Creative Arts Centre to host annual Christmas art show – Cochrane Times

Published

 on


The Ingersoll Creative Arts Centre is encouraging people to shop local this holiday season and is hosting a craft show next month featuring local artists.

The Ingersoll Creative Arts Centre is hosting a Christmas arts sale in November, with attendance by ticketed appointment to control crowds. (Ingersoll Creative Arts Centre)

The Ingersoll Creative Arts Centre is encouraging people to shop local this holiday season so is hosting a craft show next month featuring local artists.

The Deck the Halls craft sale will feature original paintings, pottery, photography, jewelry and quilted items, and run for three days from Nov. 20 to Nov. 22.

To accommodate crowd size limits and safe social distancing, people are asked to register for a ticket and attend during a designated 45-minute time slot. Tickets are free, and masks are mandatory.

After the three-day sale, many goods will be available in the gallery during regular hours.

Find more information and tickets at creativeartscentre.com.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Art

Ingersoll Creative Arts Centre to host annual Christmas art show – Sarnia Observer

Published

 on


The Ingersoll Creative Arts Centre is encouraging people to shop local this holiday season and is hosting a craft show next month featuring local artists.

The Ingersoll Creative Arts Centre is hosting a Christmas arts sale in November, with attendance by ticketed appointment to control crowds. (Ingersoll Creative Arts Centre)

The Ingersoll Creative Arts Centre is encouraging people to shop local this holiday season so is hosting a craft show next month featuring local artists.

The Deck the Halls craft sale will feature original paintings, pottery, photography, jewelry and quilted items, and run for three days from Nov. 20 to Nov. 22.

To accommodate crowd size limits and safe social distancing, people are asked to register for a ticket and attend during a designated 45-minute time slot. Tickets are free, and masks are mandatory.

After the three-day sale, many goods will be available in the gallery during regular hours.

Find more information and tickets at creativeartscentre.com.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Trending