Breaking free: Cory’s healing journey with PTSD research and treatment
Cory Taylor, a former member of the Canadian Forces, found himself shattered by post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after a particularly difficult deployment in Afghanistan. With a simple procedure, he was able to pick up the pieces of the life he once knew.
Stellate Ganglion Block (SGB) is a simple and inexpensive procedure. A very fine needle – guided by an ultrasound – is used to inject a local anesthetic (similar to what a dentist would use) into a star-shaped bundle of nerves at the base of the neck connected to our “fight-flight-or-freeze” response.
During his 12 years of military service, Cory was involved in several convoy incidences, including an ambush. His PTSD symptoms were so severe, he had no choice but to retire early.
After hearing about SGB in an interview with a US Navy SEAL, Cory ignited a team from The Royal, The Ottawa Hospital, and the University of Ottawa who agreed to perform the procedure for a research case study.
For Cory, the response to SGB was immediate. “My wife actually remarked, 'I can see the part of you that has been missing, that was gone, that has been changed, is back,'” recalls Cory.
New treatments for mental health conditions are hard to come by, but when effective, can have a miraculous impact. The Royal’s generous donor community is fueling research breakthroughs like Cory's, resulting in new discoveries, new treatments and new hope.