David’s Story

Site created on August 12, 2019

Welcome to our CaringBridge website. We are using it to keep family and friends updated in one place. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement. 

David was on a work trip in Milwaukee on Sunday, August 11, when he collapsed in his hotel's gym.  He was found by someone at the hotel and medical teams arrived around 6:50am.  He had no pulse, but the EMTs  were able to revive him with CPR/defibrillation, which they had to do again several times in the ambulance on the way to Froedtert Hospital in Milwaukee.  He was intubated and fairly quickly began Therapeutic Hypothermic treatment at the hospital, a three hour process that cools the body temperature through the bloodstream to encourage healing.

A social worker was able to get ahold of Becky quickly, and Becky arrived at the hospital about 15 minutes after David completed his hypothermic treatment and was transferred to the Cardiovascular ICU.  Myself (Lauren, David's oldest daughter) and my husband Daniel, Shelly (Haney) and husband Tim Wolff, and Scott (Haney) arrived around midnight on Sunday.

David's health app on his iPhone shows .16 miles of walking or running activity right around 6am, but since he has never exercised with fitness apps, fitbits, or other tracking devices, we assume that activity was his walk from his hotel room to the gym, and is not likely to be the time of his collapse.  However, we have no way of knowing at what point between that 6:00am activity and the 6:50am medical arrival he collapsed.

Doctors have generally concluded it was a heart attack that led to cardiac arrest and caused his collapse.  He did sustain a pretty terrible looking black eye and scrape above the eye in the fall, and appears to have scraped his head significantly on the treadmill as well in the fall, but doctors have let us know it looks worse than it is, does not require stitches, and they have not (yet) discovered any fractures in his face.  A MRI on Sunday showed no bleeding in the brain.  He did blink a few times in the ambulance, as well as cough, but the medical teams have reminded us that this could also be involuntary movement.

Newest Update

Journal entry by Lauren Westra

If you'd like to view all, or any of Dad's memorial service, you can do so at this link.  Below as well is the program from the service, as well as the speaking times in the video.  

I'd expect this is our last CaringBridge update.  We cannot express enough the encouragement your prayers, cards, messages, and visits have been.  God's people are an army of love, and we are thankful for you.  Lauren Daigle has a song called "Rescue" that has been such a reminder to me of His promise to care for us - "I will send out an army to find you in the middle of the darkest night" - I believe God's people are the army he's sent to find us, and I know I can speak for all of us when I say we are so grateful. 

Please continue to pray for us.  Pray that all the paperwork and logistics that come with Dad's passing continue to go well.  Pray for good timing as we explore what's next.  Pray for peace even on the days the pain feels fresh.  And most importantly, pray that we are emboldened with a sense of purpose, even through a loss that seems senseless.  For we know God works together GOOD.  Pray that more are added to the count of "those who love Him" through the testimony of Dad's life and death.


0:00 Welcome, Claude Taylor
17:57 Testimony of Service, Rev. Ross Graham
28:15 Testimony of Friendship, Dr. Erik Hoekstra
37:53 Testimony of Family, Scott Haney
43:41 Testimony of Family, Shelly Wolff
50:00 Testimony of Family, Lauren Westra
1:10:55 Prayer of Thanksgiving, Rev. Lendall Smith
1:16:18 The Message, Rev. Dale Van Dyke
Patients and caregivers love hearing from you; add a comment to show your support.
Help David Stay Connected to Family and Friends

A $30 donation to CaringBridge powers a site like David's for one month. Help keep this site online for them and for you.

Show Your Support

See the Ways to Help page to get even more involved.

Personal Fundraiser
Support Links
Helpful Tasks