This week on Seizing Life® in observance of SUDEP Action Day on October 18th, we speak with Dr. Richard Goldstein, Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School, about the program he directs conducting research into both Sudden Unexpected Death in Pediatrics (SUDP) and the grieving process of bereaved parents.
Dr. Goldstein is the Director of Robert’s Program at Boston Children’s Hospital, which is a clinical service offered to families who have lost a child suddenly and unexpectedly, without apparent cause. He explains the multiple interests and aims of the program, separating its work into a theoretical side focusing on research and a practical side aimed at providing answers and support to grieving families. Dr. Goldstein explains how the interdisciplinary team at Robert’s Program utilizes current medical knowledge and methods to try to provide answers to bereaved families while simultaneously conducting research into the various occurrences of SUDP, such as SUDEP (Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy), SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome), and SUDI (Sudden Unexpected Death in Infancy), to uncover the similarities and connections between them. He reveals some of these connections and discusses what they may mean to both epilepsy research and the larger issue of child mortality. Then Dr. Goldstein explains the clinical side of his work as a palliative care pediatrician counseling bereaved parents through grief groups. This work informs the other research area of Robert’s Program concerned with parental grief and the yearning to maintain a connection with a child who is no longer here. Host Kelly Cervantes shares her personal experience grieving the loss of her daughter Adelaide, a journey that led her to write her first book, Normal Broken. This is an emotional and, at times, difficult conversation but an honest and necessary one meant to provide support and resources for those parents who have experienced the devastating and unimaginable loss of a child.
Learn about Normal Broken here.
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