Doug Commons (left), 48, is a husband, father, firefighter, and triathlete. One day in July, Doug began his day with a routine 25-mile bike ride. When he came home, Doug felt overheated and unable to cool down. Regardless, he continued on with his day and went to church with his family. While at church, however, Doug began to feel chest pain. He asked his wife, Laura (right), to bring him to Corpus Christi Medical Center – Doctors Regional in Corpus Christi, Texas. Once they entered the emergency department, Doug collapsed.
Hospital staff immediately began CPR and rushed Doug to the catheterization lab where it was determined he had suffered a massive heart attack. Dr. Thomas Alexander placed the intra-aortic balloon pump and stents to help restore blood flow, but Doug’s heart was too weak and required more support. He was in cardiogenic shock, a life-threatening condition in which the heart is suddenly unable to pump enough blood and oxygen to support the body’s vital organs. Dr. Alexander then implanted the Impella CP® heart pump to support Doug’s heart and allow it to rest. Doug’s condition improved and the Impella® was removed after three days. Doug returned home two weeks later and, after time, resumed work and his exercise routine.
In September, merely two months after his heart attack, Doug participated in the Conquer the Coast bike ride and has since completed multiple races and athletic competitions.