Stanford neurosurgeon Paul Kalanithi dies at 37

Kalanithi succumbed to lung cancer.

By Raif Karerat

Dr. Paul Kalanithi (Courtesy of
Dr. Paul Kalanithi (Courtesy of

WASHINGTON, DC: A Stanford neurosurgeon, Dr. Paul Kalanithi, who recently completed his residency and became a first time father has succumbed to lung cancer at the age of 37, according to a statement released by Stanford Medicine.

Kalanithi was born in New York. He relocated to Kingman, Arizona, with his family at the age of 10 and graduated from Stanford University in 2000 with degrees in English literature and human biology.

Kalanithi was diagnosed with stage-4 lung cancer in May 2013. A university press release said he never smoked. During his final months, Kalanathi wrote about his experience living as a terminal patient for the New York Times and Stanford Medicine, according to the journal’s statement.

Kalanithi’s brother, Suman Kalanithi, wrote in an email that Paul died peacefully and on his own terms, surrounded by family. He is survived by his wife and daughter, parents, and two brothers.

A writer who interviewed Kalanithi for Stanford’s Scope blog noted that one of Kalanithi’s most important self-professed goals was to “leave a trail of bread crumbs to his life so his child will know she was loved deeply when his presence is all but a shadow.”

He closed his Stanford Medicine essay with a heartfelt message meant specifically for her: “When you come to one of the many moments in life when you must give an account of yourself, provide a ledger of what you have been, and done, and meant to t he world, do not, I pray, discount that you filled a dying man’s days with a sated joy, a joy unknown to me in all my prior years, a joy that does not hunger for more and more, but rests, satisfied. In this time, right now, that is an enormous thing.”


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  2. Fantastic man. Sorry to all who knew him for the loss.

  3. All the blessings to his family, dear Doctor rest in peace. What a beautiful loving sole.

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