Former Mayo Doctor, World Renowned Sleep Expert Dies After Fall

Posted at: 02/05/2013 6:43 PM
By: Brianna Long

(ABC 6 NEWS) -- People across Rochester, and in the medical community around the world, are remembering Dr. Peter Hauri. He was a retired Mayo Clinic doctor who passed away last week.

"No more sleepless night". It's a book written by Dr. Hauri, and one of the many things he was known for as a pioneer in the world of sleep disorders.

"Peter had insomnia, and Peter had restless legs. So he understood how difficult it was," said his wife, Cindy.

He dedicated his life to learning more about insomnia, and helping people who suffer. But to Cindy, he was just Peter.

"We had a lot of time together, a lot of time to talk and I thought to myself, this man is incredible," said Cindy.

Last Thursday, Peter was walking his dog, slipped on the ice, and hit his head.

"We had a great evening. We had a nice meal together. We had a nice talk about our hopes for our son and then we went to go watch television and he said I'm getting this really bad headache on the right side of my head right here and it's really escalated fast so I said, ok, we're going to go to the emergency room," recalls Cindy.

When they got there, doctors found bleeding in Peter's brain. He stopped breathing, and had serious brain injuries. Cindy had to make the heart-wrenching decision to turn off life support.

"You just can't hardly breathe. You just are like sick. You're choked up. I see what people mean by that and I'm very very overwhelmed," said Cindy.

Even though Peter's life came to an unexpected end; his legacy, both professionally and personally, will live on forever.

Doctor Michael Silber worked with Peter at Mayo for 20 years. He says that since Peter's passing, he has received messages from people around the world saying how sad they are about what happened, and how Peter's work has changed their careers, and the world of sleep disorders.