StoryCorps at SHC: Alvin Khalik

Going home to them every day. It's amazing.


Alvin Khalik: At the age of 30, I was diagnosed with heart disease. I had a heart attack while at work here at Stanford, I had to have a triple bypass. I didn't know what to think, it was surreal to me. After my bypass surgery, which took about 18 hours, they couldn't get my fever to come down. So, they kept me in the ICU sedated for about 11 days. And as soon as I woke up, I went into another surgery. And I spent about 16 days in the ICU.

One of the best experiences I had here as a patient, my nurse was Bonnie and it was my wife's birthday. I could barely get out of bed. And I ended up mentioning to Bonnie that it was my wife's birthday. So, what Bonnie did was she went down to the gift shop, she got some chocolates, she got a birthday card, and I said I don't even have my wallet with me. But she goes, “No, it's on me.” She sat there with me and she's like, “What would you like to write on this card?” I said, “I can't write anything.” She goes, “You just speak your mind and I'll write it.” And she wrote, like the cutest little thing and left it there for my wife. And my wife came in later on that day on her birthday. And she saw that card and she broke out into tears. It was crazy emotional, and we still have that birthday card.

There's this one very sad day. My wife came to see me she was there every day she would go home shower and comes in the ICU with me. And she just sat there quietly, and I'm like, what's wrong with you? And she wasn't saying anything. So, I was like, “Can we just pray?” I just felt like praying with her and she started crying. And I'm like, “What happened? Tell me,”and I knew something was wrong. She just couldn't talk. She was in so much pain. She ended up having a miscarriage. And they had to rush her down to the emergency room. And in a way I gained my life. We lost a child there. Yeah, she's just an incredible woman. She's like the toughest woman I know. She's helped me raise my five kids. I don't think I'd be able to do without her. She was there with me. Going home to them every day. It's amazing.

Sound Editor: Carolina Correa

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