Southgate woman encourages others to become organ donors after heart transplant saves her life

Feb. 14 is National Organ Donor Day

There are 2,500 people in Michigan waiting on an organ transplant, including more than 100 who need a new heart. Monday is National Organ Donor Day. A retired teacher shows what an impact the gift of life can truly make. Rebecca Anderson of Southgate was born with a heart condition called IHSS.

SOUTHGATE, Mich. – There are 2,500 people in Michigan waiting on an organ transplant, including more than 100 who need a new heart. Monday is National Organ Donor Day.

A retired teacher shows what an impact the gift of life can truly make. Rebecca Anderson of Southgate was born with a heart condition called IHSS.

On March 7, 2016, she got a call that would save her life.

“My husband walks through the doors and I’m in tears and he said, ‘What’s wrong?’ And I’m on the phone with the Henry Ford coordinator asking me if I was willing to accept a heart,” Anderson said.

It was a gift that has kept giving. Since her transplant, Anderson has seen her daughter get married and celebrated her 30th anniversary with her husband with a Mediterranean cruise. In December, her grandchild was born. They are precious moments Anderson knows she would have missed without the donation.

“I think my donor for literally every breath I take. Because, without her, I wouldn’t be here,” Anderson said.

Anderson hopes her story can encourage others to join the organ donor registry. One organ donor can save up to eight lives and through tissue donation, improve the lives of another.


Click here to learn more about organ and tissue donation.


There are 2,500 people in Michigan waiting on an organ transplant, including more than 100 who need a new heart. (WDIV)
There are 2,500 people in Michigan waiting on an organ transplant, including more than 100 who need a new heart. (WDIV)

About the Authors:

Karen Drew is the anchor of Local 4 News First at 4, weekdays at 4 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. She is also an award-winning investigative reporter and part of the Local 4 Defenders team.

Kayla is a Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit. Before she joined the team in 2018 she worked at WILX in Lansing as a digital producer.