Dr. Paul Kalanithi was preparing to wrap up his medical residency in neurosurgery when, in 2013, a CT scan revealed tumors throughout his body. He had stage 4 lung cancer.
In his last two years of life, he continued caring for patients. He and his wife became parents. And Kalanithi, a gifted writer, wrote a book, When Breath Becomes Air, a reflection on being a doctor with a terminal illness.
He died March 9, 2015. He was 37 years old.
His widow, Dr. Lucy Kalanithi, went on a book tour for When Breath Becomes Air, which has resonated with a wide audience.
"It's really kind of a bittersweet process, as you can imagine, quite bitter and quite sweet," she tells NPR's David Greene. "Paul died nearly 11 months ago, but being able to talk about how I feel and remember Paul is actually very healing for me. So it's actually kind of wonderful at the same time."
In her interview on Morning Edition, she reads excerpts from When Breath Becomes Air and talks about her late husband's life.