Dr. Daniel Herlihy has a bachelor's degree in liberal arts, a master's in microbiology (the human gut bacteria), graduated from medical school, survived residency in family practice, and is homeless.
After a serious car accident, his neurologist prescribed daily journaling to regain his ability to talk, write, read, and remember his life before the accident. After twelve years, his first book was coauthored with a service dog who saved him from suicide: Chewy: A Doctor's Tail.
Dr. Herlihy continues to heal by sharing his difficulties so those with a compromised brain will have a path back to neurotypical.
In this book, Normal from Afar, he shares the harrowing journey from competent, caring family doctor to disoriented homeless person, and back again, to a place of hope and a new version of normal.
A Dozen Homeless Voices, to be released in early 2023, contains the stories of the most interesting, unheard friends Dr. Dan grew to love while on the streets himself.
A fourth book, to be released at the end of 2023, describes twenty modalities that best helped the doctor's broken brain and body, including: Neurofeedback, oxygen therapy, microcurrent, Pulsed electromagnetic therapy, vagal nerve stimulation, medications, and supplements.
Dr. Dan understands that a catastrophe can take anyone to a place of complete defeat. Losing his mind, being in chronic pain and unable to do the activities of daily living (Dressing, eating, and bathing) he slowly fell into despair, disability, and a private purgatory. From there it was a short hop into homelessness.
Yet, in the darkest places there is hope.
Dr. Herlihy found the unsheltered to be resilient, unique, thoughtful and the absolute best story tellers. They are a caring community of outsiders who understood and supported him when others turned their backs.
While living on the streets as he recovered from his brain injury, Dr. Dan found unique ways to help his unsheltered community. He taught some to read, guided others to get needed medical attention, and helped several earn money.
One more thing, the author bores easily so Normal is not just a read for social workers, psychologists, and medical professionals. This book is a medical thriller with the really exciting parts of his journey included. Here's a few places where the fun begins: A nerve-racking car accident, a gruesome mugging, a romantic relationship of complete horror, a bad trip with LSD.
Two more things, a recovered memory is a fun fact. In the eighties, Dr. Dan worked as a medical missionary in Iturbide, Mexico, a small village of indigenous people high in the Sangre' de Cristo mountains. Working closely with a curandera (shaman) he learned to use herbs and psychedelics to aid patients. He can still do the trance dance (not a disco style) to good and healthy effect.
Now that Dr. Herlihy can write, he would love to hear from his readers, and anyone interested in brain health and recovery.