OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – A family and community are grieving after a beloved rheumatologist was killed in a possible crossbow accident during a bear-hunting trip in Oklahoma.
“He lived life king-sized, and the unfortunate thing is he passed away during the prime of his life,” said his wife, Dr. Nyla Ali Khan. “He was my pillar of strength.”
She said her husband, Dr. Muhammad Faisal Khan, was a beloved father, son and rheumatologist, as well as an avid hunter.
“He loved hunting season in Oklahoma,” she said. “He could indulge that passion of his in the state.”
The man’s wife said he has hunted in nearly all Oklahoma counties. Last Thursday, he headed out to Le Flore County to hunt bears with a new crossbow.
“He sent me photos of him wearing fatigues and his face painted, getting ready for the hunt,” Dr. Nyla Khan said.
But 48 hours after he arrived, deputies said, his hunting buddies found the 52-year-old dead next to his stand, with a crossbow bolt to the leg.
“It was completely unexpected,” said the doctor’s widow. “That was the last thing on my mind.”
Saturday afternoon, Dr. Nyla Khan said police officers knocked on her door.
“I said, ‘Is my husband okay?’ And I’m thinking he’s probably hurt, injured, maybe missing. He said, ‘I think you need to sit down. Your husband is dead.’ And I thought it was like a bad movie that I was watching,” she said.
The couple had plans to map out a trip to pursue Dr. Muhammad Khan’s dreams of bringing a rheumatology clinic to Kashmir, where the couple is from.
“There’s a lack of quality health care and not many rheumatologists, so he would’ve made a great impact,” she said.
His wife said medicine wasn’t just a career, but a calling for him.
“He truly and really cared, and he believed in healing. He had a fantastic touch. He had that healing touch,” said Dr. Nyla Khan.
But his biggest passion was his family, his wife and his teenage daughter.
“They were like pals. He doted on her. Loved her unconditionally,” she said. “He was a man of integrity. He was a very, very warm person.”
The couple was just three weeks away from celebrating their 26th wedding anniversary.
“The void this has created in our lives can never be filled. This is a loss we can never reconcile ourselves to. So, this pain will stay,” his wife said. “But at the end of the day, we all bow to God’s will, and that’s what I’m trying to do.”
Meanwhile, Le Flore County deputies do not suspect foul play but say they aren’t ruling anything out until the medical examiner’s report.