Doug Scholla’s story

"There I was, lying on the table in the ER, my heart beating out of control, machines beeping wildly, and doctors and nurses bustling around me. It was chaos. I looked up at the bright light almost chuckling—in disbelief, I guess—that this was actually happening to me. How could a guy who had a routine hip replacement a few years ago end up in the ER thinking, 'This could be the end?'” —Doug Scholla, business owner, husband, dad, grandpa, weekend warrior and grateful Ridgeview patient
Doug Scholla’s story

Thankfully, that day was not the end for Doug, a long-time insurance agent dedicated to providing health care coverage for so many. Through his experiences, he has acquired a whole new appreciation for being the patient, and developed a warm appreciation for Ridgeview Medical Center and its caring medical staff.

Doug admits that he shopped around when he learned he needed a hip replacement. But well-respected doctors kept pointing him to Ridgeview Medical Center. They said Ridgeview had some of the best orthopaedic doctors around. Little did he know how much he would come to value the proximity and compassionate care from Ridgeview—because he was in for a wild ride on his personal health care journey.

Doug’s hip replacement a couple of years back had gone well. In fact, he was back to work in two weeks. His deep pain was gone, and he felt great to be sleeping well again. He was an impressed and satisfied patient. But just two years later, he found he could hardly walk one day when suddenly, he was struck with unimaginable pain and a severe fever—indicating a serious infection. His condition was so serious, he was told he needed immediate hip surgery.

At the time, Doug asked, and, yes, there was a small chance he could die. He speculated about where the infection could have begun. Could this have developed from an infected tooth he recently had?

Some infected hip parts were replaced with new ones. That was the good news. The bad news: After spending a week in the hospital, enduring an aggressive at-home antibiotic regimen and then anxiously getting back to work, Doug still felt horrible—and his family was getting worried.

But Doug and his family now thank goodness that Ridgeview Home Care services could help. Doug says he gets choked up when he thinks of his nurse, who he says is an angel because she monitored his progress weekly with impeccable care and attentiveness.

But suddenly Doug’s weight loss, low blood pressure, dehydration and other complications led to a day he says he’ll never forget—he collapsed right into his nurse’s arms in his kitchen.

Soon after, Doug ended up on the table in the ER surrounded by chaos—you’ll remember that this is where the story began.

Ridgeview’s Emergency Department staff battled to control Doug’s heart rate and brought in Ridgeview Heart Center cardiologist Dr. Scott Sharkey. Doug’s condition stabilized and he was transferred to the Cardiac/Intensive Care Unit—on very close watch.

Doug then went from having a fluttering heart to undergoing a flurry of tests—heart, blood, X-rays—he suffered through much poking and prodding in a quest to get answers. But in spite of it all, a parade of doctors were baffled. No one knew exactly what was wrong with him!

This was an extreme low point for Doug. He says his frantic wife, extended family and friends wondered what options were there for him.

But Doug confidently said he needed to stick with Ridgeview because of the staff’s proven commitment to finding answers. In fact, Dr. Kevin White, a Ridgeview hospitalist, helped Doug and his loved ones turn the corner. Dr. White said he spent hours lying awake in bed thinking about Doug’s case.

His dedication ultimately paid off. He brought Doug a solution—Dr. Schrock, a specialist in infectious disease, who had a new idea, altered Doug’s treatment and put him on a course that gained traction. Doug felt better the next day and says he has no doubt that the teamwork was key. He got to go home.

Fourteen days in the hospital; ninety missed days at work; eighteen different doctors; a total of 800,000 total milligrams of antibiotics—and a billion thank-yous later, Doug got through it all. He attributes this to the exceptional care and staff at Ridgeview.

The cause of infection might have been that tooth of Doug’s; who knows if anyone will ever know for sure. But Doug says all he knows is that he made it and wouldn’t have wanted to be anywhere else but Ridgeview and would love to throw a party to recognize everyone involved in his care—from housekeepers to nurses, the chaplain to the Emergency Department, and all the stellar doctors in between!

Please join Doug, a business owner, husband, dad, grandpa, weekend warrior and grateful patient, in supporting health care excellence at Ridgeview by considering a gift to the Ridgeview Foundation. Your donation will help ensure that the very best medical care and technology is available in the west-metro area.