Donald Galvin: The Galvin Family Brother is Now Settled in a Care Facility

As a documentary series living up to its title, Discovery+/HBO Max’s Lee Phillips-directed ‘Six Schizophrenic Brothers’ can only be described as equal parts bewildering and utterly tragic. That’s because it incorporates not just archival records as well as dramatic recreations but also exclusive interviews to really underscore how this titular ailment tore the Galvin family apart. Amongst those to thus briefly feature in this original production was actually Donald “Don” Galvin Jr., the eldest of their brood of 12 and sadly arguably the most affected by mental illness.

Donald Galvin’s Downfall Was Rather Quick

It was in 1945 that Donald was born to art enthusiast Mimi and military man Donald “Don” Galvin Sr. in New York, just to primarily grow up on the Air Force base in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The truth is he had quite a stable childhood since he was the eldest of 12 kids, a great athlete, plus rather responsible at home, making him the apple of their eyes in every sense of the word. In fact, per his siblings’ accounts in the show, their parents often “elevated him in our family status. He was sort of the could-do-no-wrong, perfect boy who got good grades [and] was handsome.”

This was supposedly to such an extent the patriarch never even paid attention to the many complaints about Donald – almost every sibling deemed him needlessly violent from a young age. Whether it be physically overpowering a brother, punching another wherever he deemed fit, or forcing another to drink tobacco sauce, he did everything on a continuous basis to establish his dominance. Therefore, it was a relief to many when he ultimately left for college, only for everything to soon turn upside down as he had his first significant psychotic breakdown there following the end of a whirlwind romance.

According to reports, Don went into a stage of psychosis and then even tried to kill his estranged wife, resulting in his parents deciding they’d care for him at home to the best of their abilities. But alas, this only led to all other siblings being traumatized too, especially as they had to witness his biblical rants, his walking around in a brown robe, his violent tendencies, and his breakdowns. There were times he even tried to choke their mother while she was administrating his medications, but they still never admitted him to any mental institution for good – even as five other brothers were subsequently diagnosed at different stages of life, Donald was primarily cared for at home.

Where is Donald Galvin Now?

The Galvins did often call the police to diffuse situations or have Donald forcibly restrained and taken to the mental health hospital for brief treatments whenever he went into severe psychosis, yet they always brought him back. It hence comes as no surprise they were gradually able to quickly discern when he was lucid and when he was not, and it was during a former period that he revealed he’d been horrifically molested as a child by their local priest, Father Freudenstein. The latter has long since passed away, but despite all of Donald’s ailments and experiences, he remembers his alleged perpetrator to this day.

Coming to Donald’s current standing, from what we can tell, following the demise of Don Sr. from cancer in 2003 and Mimi in 2017, their youngest child, Mary Galvin, became all ill brothers’ primary caretaker. No other sibling stepped up in the way that was needed despite their parents having asked them not to abandon anybody, leaving a majority of the emotional as well as mental toll on Mary. It’s thus understandable that she has since placed Donald in an assisted-living facility near her base in Colorado, where he seems as content as possible, which is all that matters in the long run. On a more personal note, he is more on the quiet side these days, preferring to just enjoy good food, long car rides, ballets, opera, as well as theatre plays, instead of socializing or hanging out with his siblings.

Read More: Peter Galvin: The Galvin Family Brother Unfortunately Died in 2023