When Bianca Saez was 16 years old, 11 years ago now, she had the worst case of Tourette Syndrome doctors had ever seen.
In 2008, 60 Minutes documented Bianca’s illness as she repetitively and involuntarily suffered from violent outbursts that would see her hit both herself and those in close proximity.
As reported in 2008 by Channel Nine, Bianca’s hope for freedom from the severe illness came when doctors were able to perform radical brain stimulation surgery on her. She was the first in Australia to undergo the operation.
Watch: Bianca Saez’s interview with 60 minutes. Post continues after video.
For two weeks following the surgery, Bianca was miraculously free from the illness she had been diagnosed with since she was three-years-old. For the first time since she could remember, she was in control of her body.
“I can’t believe how much I’m grateful for having this operation because it’s changed my whole entire life and I’m so proud of myself for doing it,” Bianca told Tara Brown back in 2008.
However within a fortnight, and after 60 Minutes had stopped filming, a staph infection meant the surgery ultimately had to be reversed. Bianca was once again suffering from severe Tourette’s symptoms, with no cure in sight.
Now 11 years on, and in another interview with 60 Minutes that aired on Sunday night, Bianca’s illness remains severe.
“It was like the most amazing thing,” Bianca recalls of the two weeks post surgery. “Like it was, it was great to be able to do stuff that I’ve never been able to do with most of my life due to my Tourette’s.”
Accepting there is no cure, Bianca says: “I don’t long for it because I had it, I lost it. I have to get, get over it and move on”.