Heart Transplant Recipients Gather to Set Guinness World Record

July 14, 2014

Southfield event brings together 132 Henry Ford Hospital and other Heart Transplant Recipients on Valentine’s Day 2014

DETROIT – Heart transplant recipients from Henry Ford Hospital and other regional medical centers set a Guinness World Record for the largest gathering of heart transplant patients ever.

The Donate Life Coalition of Michigan hosted the event at Art Moran Buick GMC in Southfield, which drew 132 patients on Valentine’s Day 2014. Just 50 were needed to break the record.

Celeste Williams, M.D., Medical Director of Henry Ford Hospital’s Heart Transplant program, said the event celebrates patients’ strength. She was especially moved to see patient John Payne, 66, of Detroit, the longest living heart transplant recipient in Michigan, who received his heart 27 years ago at Henry Ford Hospital.

“Setting this record allows Henry Ford Hospital heart transplant patients to celebrate the ultimate gift on Valentine’s Day: their new hearts,” Dr. Williams said. “It’s also a dedication to the caring of those who registered to become organ donors and the love that continues in their honor.”

John Schmidt, 50, of Sterling Heights, who received his new heart in July 2008 at Henry Ford Hospital, said the event inspires him on many levels – especially the importance of organ donation.

Art Moran Buick GMC is offering a free car wash to anyone who registers at the dealership, on Telegraph north of I-696, through the month of February to become an organ donor. More than 3,200 Michigan patients are waiting today for life-saving organ transplants. More than 3 million people have been added to Michigan’s Organ Donor Registry since its inception.

Other transplant centers that participated in the event include DMC Children’s Hospital of Michigan, University of Michigan Health System, Beaumont Health System, Cleveland Clinic and the Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center.

More information on heart transplants at Henry Ford Hospital.