Monroe man raises awareness about organ donation while waiting for a new heart

Philip Perry holds up a sign highlighting that 95% of adults support organ donation but only 57% have signed up to be donors.

Philip Perry is trying to stay busy and remain healthy – anything he can do to keep his mind off the fact that he needs a new heart.

“I’m trying not to think about the things that people in my situation seem to think about a lot,” said Philip, 40, of Monroe. “It’s in your face all the time. When I find myself falling down, I just try to get back up and don’t go that far down again.”

At the end of June 2021, Philip said he was having trouble breathing but was too stubborn to go to a doctor to get checked out. He collapsed about a week later and was sent by ambulance to a hospital in Toledo – where doctors told him he had about a 3% chance to live through the night.

“They did not expect me to make it,” he said.

Philip barely remembers that night or the next several days. He was flown to Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit and woke up from a medically induced coma about 16 days later. He learned then that his heart was 57% larger than it should have been and that it would never heal. He needed a new one to survive.

He’s spent the last year learning about organ donation and working to become healthy enough to be evaluated for a heart transplant. Philip has also been encouraging people to add their names to the Michigan Organ Donor Registry.

“We’re not going to save everybody, but the number of people who are dying while waiting seems absolutely absurd to me,” he said. “I definitely want to raise awareness.”

More than 100,000 people are waiting for a transplant in the U.S., including nearly 2,400 here in Michigan. Of those, 128 are waiting for a heart. A new patient is added to the national waiting list every nine minutes and 17 die each day waiting for an organ transplant, according to Donate Life America.

Philip, a registered donor himself, said he doesn’t think it has to be that way and encourages anyone who has not already added their name to the Donor Registry to do so.

“I don’t want anything bad to happen to anyone,” he said. “But if it does and you can save someone, please do. I think it’s beautiful; that’s the way it should be. All you have to do is check a box.”

For more information or to sign up as a donor, visit golm.org/register.

Read More Posts
More than 100 staff at Munson Medical Center gathered to celebrate their upcoming Hospital of the Year Award - many of them came in on their day off to join the celebration.

Munson Medical Center Named Hospital of the Year by Gift of Life Michigan

Munson’s John Stanifer, MD and ICU Manager, Eric Jean also to be recognized. Gift of…

Read More
children holding hands

Can a Living Person Donate a Liver?

The liver is an important organ. It filters toxins out of your blood. You can’t…

Read More

Can You Donate Your Placenta?

The placenta is a one-of-a-kind organ that plays a significant role in pregnancy. It assists…

Read More
A happy family

What Tissue can be Donated?

There are several tissues that one can donate to save lives. This includes cornea, tendons,…

Read More
Dr. Bedi, Rachel Kuntzsch and Sarah Scantamburlo are new Gift of Life Governing Board members

Gift of Life Michigan announces new board members

New board members will bring fresh perspectives and ideas to the table Gift of Life…

Read More
2023 was a record year for Gift of Life Michigan with 578 organ donors and 1,858 tissue donors

Gift of Life Michigan smashes record for organ donors in 2023

More than 213,000 people join Donor Registry Gift of Life Michigan helped a record 578…

Read More
Scroll to Top