SAN ANTONIO -- Metropolitan Methodist Hospital is dedicating an operating room to a late surgeon who was hit and killed by a drunken driver in February.

  • Operating room names after Dr. Naji Kayruz
  • Was killed by a drunk driver in February
  • Dedication held on his 59th birthday

According to San Antonio police, Dr. Naji Kayruz was cycling on Interstate-10 West near Dominion Drive when he was struck. Investigators say Kayruz was traveling in the marked bike lane when Melissa Peoples, 48, hit him. She then left the scene but was later arrested after being involved in a second accident.

It's a phone call his son, Anthony, says he'll never forget.

"When I found out it was about 11 p.m. and I was in my New York City apartment. I received a call from my mother and at first I didnt answer because it was so late but then I got a text that said, 'Emergency, please call me,' and I called my mom and she told me what had happened," he said.

Anthony said the last eight weeks since his father's death have been the hardest for him and his mom, Dr. Sandra Vasquez-Kayruz.

"I"m not going to lie it's the hardest thing that I've ever experience in my life," Sandra said.

Sandra was married to Naji for 25 years before his death. They met at work.

"My husband was a very gentle soul. He was a very simple man and he drove a used Prius and his only prized possession was his wedding band," she said.

To honor his 27 years of practice at Metropolitan Methodist, hopsital staff hosted a dedication ceremony on Thursday. The event was standing room only.  

"My husband would be completely surprised that this honor is being bestowed upon him," Sandra said.

Hospital staff dedicated an operating room suite and commemorative plaque in the doctor's honor. The whole event was held on what would've been Dr. Kayruz's 59th birthday celebration.