CINCINNATI - University Hospital released a statement late Friday saying that Hamilton County Coroner Dr. Anant Bhati has died after being hospitalized for over a week.
Friends tell 9 news that a funeral for Bhati will be held Sunday at Spring Grove Cemetery at 4521 Spring Grove Avenue in Cincinnati. The service will run from 2 to 4 p.m.
Bhati collapsed and hit his head during a medical conference at the Westin Hotel in downtown Cincinnati on Feb. 8. He was taken to Good Samaritan where he was initially listed in critical condition. The next day his doctors and family said they were optimistic for his full recovery.
Bhati was later transported to University Hospital where he died on Friday Feb. 17. He died at the age of 71.
"It took everyone by surprise, we all hoped he would recover from the injury he had, and Friday night we heard that he passed away, we were all shocked," said Arun Goyal, a family friend of Bhati's.
I-Team reporter Julie O'Neill recently sat down with Dr. Bhati for an interview. She described him as warm, nice to be around, kind and good humored. She noted that people who worked at the coroner's office seemed happy in their jobs because of the spirit he brought to the place.
Bhati was also considered a pillar of the local Hindu community.
"He wanted to see the Hindus in Cincinnati flourish into a very good community," said Goyal.
Bhati served as director of the Division of Gynecology at Good Samaritan Hospital for 32 years. He taught medical students for more than 40 years at Good Samaritan and UC College of Medicine.
In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that a donation be made to the "Darwin T. Turner Scholars Program" that helps disadvantaged youth. Checks can be mailed to:
University of Cincinnati
555 Steger Student Life Center
c/o Dr. Eric Abercrumbie
Mail location: 092
Cincinnati, Ohio 45221