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Hospital’s Mr. Coffee saved by quick acting staff

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Hospital’s Mr. Coffee saved by quick acting staff

The always-smiling Doctors Hospital ambassador of goodwill, Ali Movashe, offers a banana and white chocolate iced coffee from his snack and drink shack just off the main lobby.

GLENN KAHL/Bulletin file photo/

POSTED January 26, 2014 11:02 p.m.

It was nothing short of a miracle when a code blue crash cart team of medics brought a friend of 400 workers at Doctors Hospital of Manteca back to life late Friday afternoon.

Few who call “Mr. Coffee” at Doctors Hospital their friend could sleep very well Friday night.  I know I didn’t.   Ali Movashe is man who serves as a goodwill ambassador from behind the counter of his snack and coffee shack just off the hospital’s main lobby. 

The clock was ticking on his life — and no one knew how long — after he collapsed from a heart attack out of sight behind his counter.

Ali is loved deeply for the kind individual he has proven to be for us all, even for children who are hungry for a snack bar and do not have the money.  He is a man who shows his love for his friends and his customers every day.

I make a coffee stop just about every morning for one of his banana and white chocolate drinks. You get more than a coffee. He has a knack in making most of us feel better about ourselves and the world in general.

When I walked through the front doors at about 4:15 Friday to have a cup of coffee along with a brief chat I saw the hospital volunteers were frozen in place. They were in a state of shock.

 “We were just instruments of a higher power,” one of the nurses that took part in helping keep Ali alive said later. “ He has more work on earth to do.” 

Ali was found unconscious and blue behind his counter at about 3:40 when a “Code Blue” alert was announced over the intercom system – a serious call for immediate help.   Some 15 hospital staffers responded to the alert.  He was pulled out from his coffee shop and slid into the center of the lobby where there was more room for a team to commence CPR.

Once he appeared to be breathing with a pulse and out of immediate danger, he was transported to the emergency room.  Several hours later he was transported by ambulance to the Catherization Lab at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Stockton and then into surgery where he remembers having a stint placed in an artery leading to his heart to open the blood flow.  He said he remained conscious during the procedure and felt no pain.

Ali and I chatted for about half an hour in his SICU room early Saturday afternoon.  He recalled that he had hit his head when he fell requiring a CT scan making sure the injury wasn’t serious.

One thing he will never forget, he said, was seeing an intense bright white light after he had passed out.  It was like staring into many football stadium lights, he added.  The next thing he remembered was opening his eyes and seeing Dr. Karl Wolf’s face in Doctors’ emergency room, whispering that he was going to be alright. Wolf.

St. Joseph’s SICU Nurse Kelly Johnston asked him just how many friends he had because of a crowd that had congregated in the waiting room in addition to phone calls to the hospital.  He replied that he had told her, “400 and they are all from Doctors Hospital in Manteca.”

Ali knows all of his customers as his friends on a first name basis and they definitely know him.  Ali’s outlook on life is simple, “a friend is a smile and a greeting away.”

Ali recounted that a major artery to the right side of his heart was found to be 70 percent clogged and was felt to be the cause of the attack.  He was transferred out of SICU over the weekend to a regular patient room on the second floor in the north wing of the Stockton hospital.

One DHM nurse in particular made sure he would get his glasses and his cell phone at his bedside Saturday.  She and her husband took their second car out of their garage and parked it on the street because Ali’s vehicle had to be kept safe for him.  She was one of those visitors who traveled to Stockton Friday night and again on Saturday.  Other staffers put his cash box in the hospital safe along with his iPad and closed up his coffee shack.

As I was walking through his door a nurse was leaving after visiting with him.

“She was the one who started the CPR,” he said, “and she was concerned that she might have broken one of my ribs and wanted to apologize, but nothing was broken.”

Sitting at his bedside he noted he could make more money working elsewhere, but his coffee shack has provided him with so many friends who are there for him – something money can’t buy, he quipped.  He added that he knew and was grateful that the emergency room staff had definitely saved his life – they are family.

“Glenn, you need to talk to my SICU nurse,” he added. “She and her sister were the first set of twins born in Manteca’s hospital in 1962, the year it opened. You should have a good column there,” he said.

Shelly and Kelly are both RNs.  One works at St. Joseph’s and the other in Lodi.  They were both delivered by Dr. George Veldstra.

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