By Victor Milani
Northfield Village resident Jim Daugherty has quite a story of courage, and the will to live. Daugherty, the owner of Daugherty Plumbing for eighteen years, has lived in Northfield Village for the past thirty years with his wife of thirty-four years Jill. The Daugherty’s have two children Tyler and Jennifer. Daugherty has also been a Northfield Village Councilman on two occasions, the first between 1981-84. He had to resign then due to family obligations. Jim came back to the political scene in 2016, as he was appointed to fill a Council vacancy. He sat on Council with his daughter Jennifer Domzalski, who successfully won her council at-large seat. It was a great father-daughter story he was very proud of! After taking his Council seat, Jim noticed his ankles and legs swelling and retaining water. After trips to the heart and kidney specialist at the Cleveland Clinic, the tests can back inconclusive. After yet another test with a liver specialist, they found out that Daugherty had N.A.S.H, a liver disease not associated with alcohol usage. Jim never drank or smoked. The family was told he would need a liver transplant within one year, if not sooner. Jim got progressively worse and was forced to reluctantly resign his Council seat in 2017. Daugherty had noticeably began to swell and become jaundiced, and his energy was being sapped from him!
This is where he shows patience and his will to live. The liver transplant procedure is an arduous process where the patient has to be ready at a moments notice to get to the hospital whenever a liver becomes available. Time is of the essence to take out the old liver and put in the new. The liver must be compatible with the recipient from the donor. On FOUR different occasions, Daugherty got the call to rush downtown to the Cleveland Clinic, that a liver had become available. Unfortunately, with Jim waiting outside the operating room for his new liver, did the doctors tell him the liver wasn’t compatible or harvested soon enough to be transplanted. The family was disappointed, that the door to Jim’s survival was being closed, not once, but now four times. After the fourth non-successful attempted procedure, Jim had resigned himself that maybe it wasn’t meant to be. He got his affairs, both personal and business wise, in order. When all hope seemed lost, Daugherty got yet another call to rush downtown to the Clinic for another possible liver transplant. Jim was somewhat jaded by the previous four futile attempts and told his wife, Jill, he wanted a fish sandwich, and take a jaunt past Lake Erie. He assumed this would be yet another failed attempt at a new lease on life. When they finally arrived, Jim’s doctors wondered where he had been? They rushed him into surgery, having found a viable liver from the Youngstown area. When they removed Jim’s old liver, they took a biopsy of it, only to find he not only had liver disease (N.AS.H.) but also had cancer of the liver as well. The liver and cancer had been removed, and the healthy liver was successfully put in. That was on November 11, 2017, and six months later Jim Daugherty is alive and well!