For the sake of communication ease, we are hoping you will follow Doug's journey to recovery on Caring Bridge! His immediate family will occasionally post updates here but please feel free to post and leave as many comments as you'd like. We will continue reading all of your kind words to Doug as we know that he could not have made it through this without the endless amount of prayers he has received. The Cherry family can't begin to thank everyone enough for their tremendous outpouring of love.
As most of you know, Doug suffered unexpected heart failure on November 12, 2019 and is currently in the CVICU at Froedtert Hospital in Milwaukee, WI. He has been suffering shortness of breath over the course of the last few weeks and was diagnosed at a local doctor about a week prior to the event with high blood pressure. He began taking medication but on the morning of November 12th, he had an extremely rapid heart rate that forced him to go to the emergency room. By the grace of God, he managed to drive himself to the local emergency room in Lindenhurst, IL as his family was not home at the time. When he arrived at the emergency room, the doctors believed that he was having an arrhythmia issue and took him via ambulance to the Vista emergency room in Waukegan, IL where they had proper equipment to help with his symptoms.
His family arrived on the evening of November 12th and Doug was already on life support. After endless hours of countless doctors examining Doug, they informed his family that there was nothing more they could do for him on November 13th around 11am and that the only hospital that could take over was in Milwaukee, WI. At that time, Doug was taken via Flight for Life to the hospital where he had surgery that inserted both a LVAD and RVAD device that supported both sides of his heart, as well as machines supporting his kidneys and liver as they had both been severely damaged. At that time, he was stabilized but was being kept alive by various machines and a ventilator. The doctors notified Doug's family that they could not predict the outcome and would know more in the next 24-48 hours but were hopeful that he could make a recovery eventually.
Doug was sedated to allow the machines to do their work and give him time to rest from the surgery. After a long week, he began to come around on November 19th after being sedated for 8 days. They kept the breathing tubes in for a few more days but eventually were able to wean him off of them. When Doug finally woke up he was in great spirits and did not suffer any memory loss. Dawn was there the moment he opened his eyes, as she has been every day since he was admitted. With his family by his side 24/7, we believe he continued to fight for a second chance at life!
Over the course of the next week, the doctors were able to remove his LVAD and RVAD machine and he is currently down to only 1 life support machine from 5! The process of weaning off the machines has not been without difficulties but he has a round the clock nurse looking after him as well as family and friends visiting day and night. Doug is in great spirits, with his sense of humor fully intact. The doctors believe that if he can get his heart fully pumping on its own then he can eventually leave the ICU and begin rehab and therapy.
Doug and his family can not be more thankful that he truly has been given a second chance at life. Although he has a long journey ahead, we are hopeful that he can eventually make a full recovery and come out even better than he went in. The doctors, nurses, and Cherry family believe that this is nothing short of a miracle.
Thank you for your support, encouragement, and prayers!!!!