I am a transporter by trade and a singer by heart. I am Henry.
You don’t have to look hard to find Darrius as he wheels patients through Henry Ford Health’s hallways—just follow his beautiful singing voice. That’s because everywhere he goes, Darrius is bursting with song. Whether it be an old classic, modern pop tune or a song he wrote himself, the melody doesn’t matter as much as making sure his patients have reason to smile.
Darrius is often the brightest spot in his patients’ days. When he enters a room, they start to perk up to match his sunshiny attitude. “He just comes in all…happy,” says patient Ruth Perry. “And you can just kind of feel that mood move with him into the room. It’s very nice.”
Given his contagiously upbeat nature, sometimes patients start singing with him. And that’s literally music to Darrius’ ears. “I love when my patients sing with me,” he says.
For two years, he’s been inspiring patients to sing, smile and move to the groove. But his history with music dates back to his childhood, where he sang in church choirs and on stages around the world. In 2020, he attempted a career in music, moving to the West Coast to pursue his dream before deciding, ultimately, that his heart remained in Detroit. Back in his hometown, he’s now able to better moods each and every day for Henry Ford Health patients and staff alike.
His favorite songs come from the gospel and Motown genres, but he’ll belt out virtually any style of music. He even takes the occasional requests from patients. If he doesn’t know it, he’ll learn it and be ready for their next encounter.
He says music gets him through the toughest times. And that’s why he sings to patients—to get them through their own tough times during their hospital stays and subsequent recoveries. “As I’m singing,” he says, “you know, lifting myself up, I’m seeing the tears in my patients’ eyes and then they stop me and say ‘thank you so much.’”
It’s clear what Darrius means to his patients in the way they respond to him. It’s not his job to sing to anyone. But he believes it’s his duty to make help people forget about their pain or suffering—if only for the minute or two he shares with them.
It’s this belief that elevates his role at the hospital beyond mere job title—and it’s what inspires him to goes above and beyond for patients. Because here, Henry is more than a name. It’s selflessness, compassion and love for our neighbors. And no one is more Henry than Darrius.