While most of the world learned of Om Malik's heart attack yesterday, from his self penned post, a small group of us have known almost since it happened. Last Friday, when Helene and I were in Valencia Spain, GigaOm's COO Paul Walborsky called me with the details of what had happened. We were devastated.
As Om's close friends and as a quasi advisor to GigaOm, Paul wanted me (and Helene) to know what had happened. He also asked that we respect the families wishes that no one know until the situation became clearer and the doctors had a chance to evaluate our dear friend's condition. Being married to a doctor, and having Helene at my side when the news was delivered made the situation very understandable. She provided first hand insight, not non-medical speculation, to both Paul and I at a time we needed it most.
The irony here was we were on the Honeymoon that never would have been if Om hadn't asked me to help him learn about wine in November, 2004. To hear the news while we were on the honeymoon trip was both ironic and traumatic.
Thankfully, Paul and the entire group of advisors and key friends all pulled together and kept us informed and made the right decisions that were in Om's best interest, taking those of his family first. Paul and Om's friend Pooj Preena deserve a lot of credit. Paul told me Pooj took Om to the hospital and Paul kept all the things business related away from Om, including cell phone, MacBook and Blackberry. He also kept me informed with twice daily updates by phone and IM. It made a terrible situation better. When it came time to inform the staff at GigaOm, Paul took the reins and made sure that a clear picture of what was happening was known, and he did that with the proper class and style, and the way Om would want it done. After the family, including Om's mother had arrived from India.
Some of this may be TMI, but everything that was done, was done with Om's best interest personally first, as that was the only way to do things.
If we weren't so connected, with great broadband at our hotel, mobile phones that were unlocked using MaxRoam and local SIMs, having laptop enabled online communications tools with VoIP, Instant Messaging and more, the news and the reaction would not have been as quick, nor we would have been as well informed without paying a fortune.
As a friend and an advisor, I commend Paul and the entire team for handling things the right way and the way that was best for Om..And Pooj, Indian food on me for your heroics!
And to my friend Om....Get better my friend. Get better..