LeTourneau U. professor William Kielhorn, being treated for stage four cancer, teaches class from hospital bed
May 9, 2011
When Professor William Kielhorn found himself in the intensive care unit to deal with chemotherapy complications from treating his stage four colon cancer, he was quite put out.
At 79, Kielhorn was just one class short of finishing 45 years of teaching without missing a single day.
With his perfect attendance at risk, Kielhorn reminded his oncologist at Good Shepherd Medical Center in Longview, Texas: "I have class tomorrow at 3 o'clock."
That's when his daughter, Martha Croft, and granddaughter, Courtney Bellamy, came up with a plan and started making arrangements for Kielhorn to give his last class via teleconference from the hospital.
"Either we were going to break him out or they were going to bring the Skype in," Croft said with a laugh.
So on April 28, Kielhorn put on his glasses, took out his textbook and gave his last lecture through a laptop that was perched on the dining table of his hospital bed.
"I felt the students had paid for the courses and the least I could do was show up and teach," Kielhorn said.
Kielhorn gave the engineering lecture in his hospital gown with IVs still attached to his body while about 15 students watched from a classroom at nearby LeTourneau University.