The first time I saw a rough cut of “A strange relativity: Altered time for surgeon-turned-patient,” a video about neurosurgeon-author Paul Kalanithi’s reflections on life while facing death from metastatic cancer, I told director/producer Mark Hanlon that I wasn’t crazy about the music. It felt out of place, I told him, too upbeat for a story about a very sick man. But Hanlon (and others in my office) politely disagreed, and the music made the final cut.
Thank goodness no one listened to me.
Today, I get chills every time I watch Kalanithi stroll down the hospital corridor (yes, to that music) in the first scene — and I’m not the only one moved by the piece and by Kalanithi’s story. We recently got word that the video, which accompanied a beautiful Stanford Medicine essay written by Kalanithi and was finalized shortly before he died in March last year has been nominated for a News and Documentary Emmy Award by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. And it’s in good company, too: Pieces by The New York Times, The Center for Investigative Reporting, National Geographic Magazine and PBS also received nods in this category.
We’ve shared the video before but it’s too good to not share again. Have tissues close by.
Previously: When Breath Becomes Air: A conversation with Lucy Kalanithi, Paul Kalanithi’s book will probably make you cry, Stanford neurosurgeon Paul Kalanithi, who touched countless lives with his writing, dies at 37, Stanford neurosurgeon/cancer patient Paul Kalanithi: “I can’t go on. I will go on.” and A neurosurgeon’s journey from doctor to cancer patient
Image courtesy of Mark Hanlon