Meet The Man Having Brain Surgery On Live TV

Greg Grindley will undergo the procedure live on National Geographic Channel


My name is Greg Grindley, and I am a 49-year-old retired Navy chief petty officer living with my beautiful wife Crystal and our family in northeastern Ohio. The reason I am writing to you today is that this coming Sunday, Oct. 25, I will undergo the first brain surgery ever broadcast on live television. I thought it might help for me to introduce myself and share with you my reasons for agreeing to participate in this special.

Since 2004, I have lived with early onset Parkinson’s disease. I have to say, I ignored it for as long as I could, but eventually my condition worsened to the point where I had to see the doctor. When I was first diagnosed, the strongest emotion I felt was anger. Why was this happening to me?

I was able to continue working until 2009, but my tremor and balance issues made it necessary for me give up my job as an electrician. Due to the Parkinson’s and my medication, the tremors have spread to both hands, and I have begun having facial contortions as well. My disease has continued to have more and more of an impact on my daily life, and it became clear that I was going to have to make some tough choices.

(Image: Greg & Crystal Grindley)

It was through the encouragement of my loving family and my doctors that I made the difficult decision to have the DBS (deep brain stimulation) surgery happening this Sunday, in the hope of stopping or at least dramatically reducing my tremors. Don’t get me wrong, I was very reluctant to have the surgery at first, and I fully admit that I was scared. I have to say the idea of someone poking around in my brain is NOT on the top of my list of things to do!

Despite those doubts and fears, my family and I have kept our senses of humor and are ready to face this challenge head on. We made the decision together as a family to share this experience with the world, to open other peoples’ eyes to this remarkable procedure, and to give hope to those who are also suffering from tremors and Parkinson’s.

I am extremely blessed to be surrounded with so much support, and am proud to share my experience to offer strength to those who feel lost or hopeless while dealing with their own medical issue.

Thank you for taking a few minutes to read this. I hope you will watch, and, if it’s not too much to ask, I hope you’ll keep me in your thoughts and prayers.


(Image: Greg & Crystal Grindley)

Brain Surgery Live airs Monday 26 October at 12.00pm AEDT/2.00pm NZDT with an encore at 8.30pm AEDT/NZDT.

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