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Mr. Coffee’s visit perks up staff

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Mr. Coffee’s visit perks up staff

Doctors Hospital of Manteca pharmacy staffer Katie Miller – like many others – gave Ali a bear hug and then handed him her pen and asked that he autograph her arm after finding him looking healthy ...

GLENN KAHL/The Bulletin


POSTED February 6, 2014 1:22 a.m.

Call it the “Miracle on North Street.”

It was a life and death real-life drama where Doctors Hospital of Manteca staffers saved one of their own in a near death experience when their coffee shack owner was stricken with a heart attack.

It is without a doubt had he suffered his heart attack away from the hospital he wouldn’t have survived.

Ali “Mr. Coffee” Movashe walked back into Doctors Hospital Wednesday morning looking spry and healthy. His appearance stirred emotions throughout the building as staffers scurried down the hallways to give him hugs and let him know how thrilled they were to see him.

Movashe has operated the coffee shack off the front lobby for some 10 years. During that time he has gotten to know most all of the 400 staffers by their first and last names and exactly where they work.  He has made a difference in their lives and has given many of them love and hope when he sees they are down or distressed.

Doctors Hospital is all about family.  At least 50 of those family members made it to the lobby to leave a special mark on their friend that he said he will never forget.

After his surgery at St. Joseph’s in Stockton the ICU nurse asked him just how many friends he had – at least 25 were in the ICU waiting room wanting answers about his condition.  Others were calling on the phone.  His response was 400 – all the employees at Doctors Hospital.

Ali suffered a serious heart attack about three weeks ago in his coffee shop and was dragged out into the lobby where emergency room personnel attempted to revive him. They managed to do so after a couple sharp jolts with crash cart paddles.  Later that night he was transported to St. Joseph’s Hospital in Stockton where doctors in the catherization lab inserted a stint into an artery entering the right side of the heart.

He had planned to stay for “just a little while” Wednesday until the word got around he was back. But then a constant stream of his supporters took a quick break,  rushing to see their friend.  Katie Miller from the pharmacy department was so thrilled that after she gave him a hug she handed him a pen and asked him to autograph her upper arm.

Volunteers at the front desk were the first to spot their friend and then came the admissions clerks followed by nurses and support personnel as well as housekeeping.  One said she would be glad to clean up around his coffee shack to take a little stress away from him.

Ali had planned to do cleaning inside his business for a few minutes, but people kept coming to see him until about 3 p.m. when he decided it was time to go home and rest after an eventful day.  When he announced he would be back to work Monday morning for lesser hours, all told him it wasn’t a good idea.  He noted it would only be for a few hours next week – maybe three.  He quoted doctors as saying there will be little permanent damage to his heart and it should be completely healed in two to three weeks.

Hospital CEO Nico Tejeda waived his rent for the next couple of months, Ali said.

“Take a couple more weeks,” they were heard advising him.  “You need to rest.”

He said he was looking for Samantha, an RN who works in the emergency room.  It was “Sam” who started the CPR compressions when he was first found to be not breathing and blue.  Ali noted she was apparently on her days off and he would be back to see her soon when she is back on shift.  He said she had come to see him at St. Joseph’s to make sure his ribs were okay from the compressions she delivered.

Several days after being released from St. Joseph’s he was back in Doctors Hospital for several days for observation.  He finally went home the end of last week.  His first 10-minute walk with friends totally wore him out, he had noted.

“It was unbelievable how much love they have,” he said of the hospital staff.  “Many handed me envelopes that I thought were just get well cards, but they were filled with cash and checks. They saved my life – the whole team – from the CNAs on up.”

There are two large white signature boards in the hospital cafeteria where his friends have been asked to pen their thoughts about Ali for keepsakes he can put up in his home. They don’t want him to forget their feelings for him.  Many of his regular coffee shop customers have no relation to the hospital but walk through the front doors just to visit Ali and savor his coffees. 

“I am just so lucky – but now what can I do in return to thank them all?” he asked.

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