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TICKED: A Medical Miracle, a Friendship, and the Weird World of Tourette Syndrome by award-winning journalist James A. Fussell and Jeffrey P. Matovic
Chicago Press / May 2013
** Please watch this short news segment about Jeff Matovic to get a brief sense of this story: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y-iw_Xvh6G4
“I'm not sure whose story is more remarkable—medical pioneer Jeff Matovic, or the man he has entrusted his tale to, Jim Fussell. The duo share much more than Tourette's Syndrome. They share huge hearts, tremendous courage, and wonderful senses of humor. Whether it is writing about the sexy woman and fellow sufferer, trying to undress him at in the lobby of a Tourette’s convention, or a drill boring through Matovic's brain, Fussell finds the heartbreak, humanity, and, ultimately, the uplift, we all seek. Wonderfully written and inspiring.” – Joe Drape, author of the New York Times best-selling Our Boys
About the book: Jeffery P. Matovic, dubbed “The Miracle Man” by Oprah Winfrey, was diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome at the age of six. Tourette Syndrome is an unusual neurological disorder that causes sufferers’ bodies to move uncontrollably. Sometimes they swear, or scream, sometimes their legs, arms, heads, and whole bodies twitch and tic, and sometimes the ticing is so violent they can dislocate a joint or crack a bone. Each sufferers’ form of ticing is different. There is no cure. For Jeff, who had an extremely severe case of Tourette, his entire body would convulse constantly, making it impossible for him to drink from a normal cup, walk down stairs, or even sleep. Along with the pain and difficulty operating in daily life, comes a big dose of ridicule from those who don’t understand. For Jeff, life became unbearable around the age of 30—he could no longer take the constant pain, and his tics were so bad he couldn’t walk—but then a miracle happened. He was approved for an experimental deep brain stimulation surgery that hadn’t worked on Tourette sufferers in the past. And against all odds it worked on Jeff, making medical history and landing him in the global spotlight. But as Matovic reached his highest point, Jim Fussell hit his lowest. After surviving his own Tourette’s for 40 years, the veteran feature writer for The Kansas City Star couldn’t take it anymore. Exhausted, on deadline and shaking so hard he could hear the “thud” his brain made when it slammed into his skull, he sank under his desk and began to sob. But when he met the “Miracle Man,” his whole life changed. This inspirational story of friendship, hope, and overcoming incredible odds, takes readers into the often strange world of Tourette and into the hearts of two amazing men.
About the authors: Jim Fussell is an award-winning journalist who has worked for The Kansas City Star for more than a quarter century. His stories appear regularly in the paper’s FYI section, where his work is seen by a million readers per week. His articles also appears online at Kansas City.com, and are sent around the world on the nation’s news wires. He began his career with The Miami Herald in 1984 after receiving a political science degree from the University of Nebraska, and doing graduate work in journalism. His latest award came when he won first place for general feature in the national 2009 Excellence-in-Feature-Writing Contest sponsored by the American Association of Sunday and Feature Editors. He lives in Lenexa, Kan. with his wife, Susan. They have two children.
Jeff Matovic is a medical pioneer and motivational speaker whose groundbreaking miracle has inspired people from Seattle to Saudi Arabia. News of his dramatic recovery was carried on The Oprah Winfrey Show and programs around the globe. For his courage in defeating Tourette Syndrome through deep brain stimulation he won the Campion Shield for Heroism from his alma matter, John Carroll University, and the national Shining Star of Perseverance award from Assurant Employee Benefits. Jeff lives in Cleveland with his wife, Debra, and their four children where he still receives telephone calls and e-mails from people from around the world.
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