I am Galen's father.
I have put up this webpage to honor the memory of my son, who died;
and to get out, as soon as possible, important information regarding assistance and support for those who are grieving.
For I feel there is something that could be exceedingly helpful to those who have lost a loved one - especially parents who have lost a child, the worst grief of all - in navigating through this difficult time.
Galen transitioned in an instant; a freak accident where a speeding train passed through a blind intersection that had no guardrails or warning lights. My grief was so intense in those first three days that if it continued unabated it would have stopped my heart.
I am a board certified pediatrician and board certified in hyperbaric medicine. I have been helping brain injured children, such as those with cerebral palsy, autism, traumatic brain injury, and fetal alcohol syndrome, regain significant brain function. In my years of providing assistance, using hyperbaric oxygen, I have observed how the chemistry of the brain affects mood, behavior, and coping skills.
It took me a full month to realize that I had knowledge of something that could be used to, and that I know does, provide assistance to the grieving brain. I have been using the hormone oxytocin, via nasal spray, to help children with brain injury - especially autistic children - cope and feel comfortable during the process of healing. I tried it on myself just as soon as I had this epiphany and found that it provided a sense of emotional equanimity. It allowed my mind and body a level of relief that permitted my emotional and mental processes to flow without the constant obsessive chatter, anxiety, and even panic that accompanies intense acute grieving. The panic and vicious circle of distressful thoughts no longer could stick and fester in my conscious mind (unless I wanted them to be there) I was given a new sense of emotional freedom.
Written by Ken Stoller, January 2008
Ken Stoller, MD