Dr. Donald Liu was merely going on a weekend getaway to Berrien County Michigan with his family this past weekend. However, this heroic surgeon had no idea that he would not be returning home.
Dr. Liu recently celebrated his 50th birthday and was enjoying a weekend away with his family when he awed the world with his true heroism and saved the lives of two children.
While at the Cherry Beach Sunday morning, Dr. Liu spotted two children struggling in Lake Michigan, and could not leave them without help. According to Jeff Thornton, a dispatch supervisor for Berrien Country Public Safety, Dr. Liu went out to help and was pulled under the water and drowned before rescue crews arrived.
“Dr. Liu drowned while successfully saving two children who got caught in heavy surf in Lake Michigan,” said Liu’s friend and colleague, Dr. Jeffrey Matthews. “He really died a hero.”
Dr. Liu worked at the University of Chicago Hospitals for almost ten years and lived in Hyde Park in Chicago, IL. Dr. Liu was named section chief of pediatric surgeon and surgeon-in-chief at Comer Children’s Hospital. Recently, Dr. Liu was awarded a “distinguished clinician” award at the hospital.
"It’s incredibly sad. We are so absolutely heartbroken by the loss of our friend and colleague. Ironically, he died saving children which is what he does every day,” said Matthews. “He was a remarkable human being. We are all shocked. He was very passionate about his work. What the children needed was what always what he talked about. He was a world-class pediatric surgeon who made innovations and advancements in minimally invasive surgery for children and cared for trauma victims."
Dr. Liu is truly a hero in every sense of the word, and his knowledge, compassion and heroism will live through his wife, Dr. Dana Suskind, and their three children, Genevieve, Asher and Amalie.