There was once a young neurosurgeon at Stanford who, as an undergraduate and master’s student, had been an English lit major. He could write, oh, could he write. But he had another part of his brain, too, one that sent him to medical school and to one of the toughest specialties.
And then, in his residency, he was diagnosed with advanced lung cancer. Oh, the irony. This bright young surgeon who could save so many lives was to see his own cut short. He wasn’t a smoker, either.
Stanford’s obituary reads “writer and neurosurgeon dies at 37.” While for some, his memory lives on because they, his patients, live on, for the rest of us his memory lives on in the few beautiful published essays he wrote about his situation before he went.
Before he went.
Why does his story make me tear up?
And maybe that was his soul’s purpose.
Paul Kalanithi, M.D. Writer. He is unforgettable.
I’d like to share with you some of his writing and ask you about it.
His NY Times essay on his diagnosis, HERE.
After his diagnosis, he and his wife, who is also a doctor, decided to have a child. THIS is his message to his daughter.
And his Stanford obituary can be found HERE.
So tell me, how did you respond to his writing?