To the Heart of the Matter - West Branch Man Overcomes Overwhelming Odds After Cardiac Crisis

McLaren Bay Region
Doyle on bike

Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website, about 630,000 Americans die from heart disease each year. Fortunately for one local man, rapid response and expert care saved him from becoming another victim to heart disease. What he accomplished after suffering cardiac arrest is nothing short of exceptional.

Doyle David, 62, is a resident of West Branch and led an active lifestyle by participating in running and bicycling events. He was training for a long-distance cycling race when the unexpected happened.

On June 30, 2018, the day of his and his wife’s 45th wedding anniversary, Doyle was coming home from breakfast and pulled in the driveway where he went into cardiac arrest. His daughter, Jenny David is a family nurse practitioner, and was called over immediately to attend to her father. Jenny performed CPR on her dad while 911 responders were en route. Responders transported Doyle from his home to a hospital in West Branch before he was moved to McLaren Bay Region. Because he went into cardiac arrest at home, Doyle’s survival rate was five percent.

“The last thing I remember was pulling in the driveway and when I woke up, I was at the hospital and in a world of hurt,” Doyle said of the experience. “Everyone was telling me what happened and some of it came back to me, but I didn’t remember anything. They told me I died about four times. I kept looking around and seeing that there was a lot of people working on fixing me.”

Although his survival rate was low, the David family looked to cardiology specialist, Dr. Yousef Bader for treatment. Through stents, defibrillation, a medically induced coma, and a pacemaker, Doyle was on the road to recovery and was told to rest. Six months later, Doyle was cleared to resume his physical activities and was ready to jump back into training with Jenny for the Grayling 100-mile cycling race.

“My motivation was that I wanted to finish the race. I biked the 100-mile race twice before and the second time I blew a tire and wasn’t able to fix it,” Doyle explained. “I have always exercised - I’ve ran marathons and road races for 14 years, but my knees started to bother me, so I switched to riding bikes. The 100-mile bike race was a challenge and that’s why I wanted to do it.”

Doyle and Jenny trained together in the past and this time was no different. He took to the treadmill to burn as many calories as he could until the weather was warm enough to ride. Jenny and Doyle worked their way up to traveling 65 to 75 miles per day in preparation for the race. During the race, he didn’t take any breaks and he and Jenny finished with a time of 5 hours and 53 minutes. Tears of joy streamed down Doyle’s face as he finally accomplished his goal.

Doyle is now healthy and active, just like the day before he went into cardiac arrest, the only difference now is that he has a pacemaker in his chest. He attributes his life to the great care that the McLaren providers and nurses took during his hospital stay. “They gave me my life, I would be gone without them,” Doyle recounted.

As a primary care provider herself, Jenny stresses the importance of having an annual physical to prevent serious health issues like heart disease. She also said that is important to learn how to perform CPR properly and to be physically active.

Jenny David, NP, is currently accepting new patients to her office located at McLaren Primary Care – Rifle River, 5170 Rifle River Trail, in Alger. To schedule an appointment, call (989) 873-5323 or visit mclaren.org/appointments to make an appointment online, anytime.

About McLaren Health Care

McLaren Health Care, headquartered in Grand Blanc, Michigan, is a fully integrated health network committed to quality, evidence-based patient care and cost efficiency. The McLaren system includes 14 hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers, imaging centers, a 490-member employed primary and specialty care physician network, commercial and Medicaid HMOs covering more than 620,000 lives in Michigan and Indiana, home health and hospice providers, retail medical equipment showrooms, pharmacy services, and a wholly owned medical malpractice insurance company. McLaren operates Michigan’s largest network of cancer centers and providers, anchored by the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute, one of only 49 NCI-designated comprehensive centers in the U.S. McLaren has 26,000 employees and more than 52,500 network providers. Its operations are housed in more than 350 facilities serving the entire Lower Peninsula along with a portion of the Upper Peninsula. Learn more at www.mclaren.org.