World record 132 heart recipients gather to celebrate new life on Valentine’s Day

Gift of Life Michigan logo

A world record 132 heart recipients crowded into an auto dealership on Valentine’s Day in Southfield, creating a media stir and heartfelt appreciation for organ donors and their families.

The first-time event was held at Art Moran Buick GMC showroom and was sponsored by the Donate Life Coalition of Michigan, a group that raises awareness about the miracle of donation and transplantation.

“No one understands the beauty of a heart on Valentine’s Day better than someone who has received a new one,” said Lisa Langley, chair of the Donation Life Coalition and executive director of the Michigan Eye-Bank.

The coalition and its partners – including Gift of Life Michigan – are awaiting official word from Guinness World Records which publishes the popular Guinness Book of World Records, but they believe the mark was met. Seven transplant centers from Michigan and Ohio helped by contacting their heart recipients to ensure the record number was met.

Heart recipient Sherry Johnson of Farmington Hills was in charge of extensive documentation and paperwork required to prove a Guinness World Record. Johnson was dying of cardiomyopathy when she received her heart in 2006. Before her transplant she was unable to walk her little boys to the bus stop or even fold a load of laundry.

“My transplant was a gift for me and a gift for my family,” she said. “We have my donor to thank for that.”

Read More Posts
Donor Mother Teena Smith (left) and heart recipient Sharon Culbreath.

“It’s like I have a new family now”

Michigan woman meets son’s heart recipient Two years after her son died, Teena Smith heard…

Read More
Senator Kevin Daly stands at a podium in front of a Check Your Heart banner on the Michigan Capitol steps

Gift of Life Michigan calls for action as Michigan Organ Donor Registry grows at the slowest pace since its founding

About 2,400 patients are waiting in Michigan this month for a life-saving organ transplant. The…

Read More
Michigan Department of Natural Resources logo

Gift of Life Michigan, DNR team up to save lives

New partnership will ask hunters, anglers to ‘Check Your Heart’ Hunters and anglers in Michigan…

Read More
Graphic celebrating 1 million organ transplants, with Gift of Life Michigan and United Network for Organ Sharing logos

U.S. reaches historic milestone of 1 million organ transplants

Gift of Life Michigan joins national ‘Living it Forward’ initiative to advance next million Ann…

Read More

Foundation grant honors heart recipient who inspired many

  On Saturday, Aug. 27, a $10,000 grant was presented to the Gift of Life…

Read More
Artelia Griggs and Donnie Parker wave as they finish the 5K walk

LIFE Walk returns to historic Belle Isle for 25th year

Thousands attend event celebrating life, organ and tissue donation The annual LIFE Walk/Run drew nearly…

Read More
Scroll to Top