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Robert and Helen Valenzuela were married for nearly 50 years. When both were admitted to St. Jude Medical Center in Fullerton, physicians and nurses arranged for the Buena Park couple to be together, to continue to love and support each other. (Courtesy of St. Jude Medical Center)
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    Eddie Olczyk remembers the exact time: 7:07 p.m. He was lying in bed, recovering from surgery. Doctors had just removed 14 inches of his colon and a tumor the size of a fist. The house phone started ringing and the incoming number flashed on his television screen.

    "It was Northwestern Hospital," Olczyk recalled. "Look, with my experience of being a hockey player and being a dad, you know any phone call at past 7 o'clock from the hospital, it's not a good call."

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    My chest started to feel tight. Out of nowhere, my heart was really thudding. I thought it might be anxiety, but that usually subsides. This didn’t. I turned to my teammate Brendan Taylor. “My ticker’s f----d,” I told him. “My ticker’s f----d.”

    I walked off to the changing rooms. My heart was now going what felt a million miles an hour. I could actually see my chest moving, my skin expanding and contracting, fit to burst. It looked so unnatural. It made me feel sick to see it.

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