While John L. Hern waited in Houston Methodist Hospital for 252 days for a life-saving heart transplant, he befriended numerous other patients who were waiting for or recovering from transplants. He encountered many people who could not afford the associated costs of a transplant, such as expensive prescriptions and temporary housing while undergoing treatments.
Hern devised a plan to offer financial assistance to fellow transplant patients. His wish was made a reality through the formation of the JLH Foundation, established to support the financial needs of transplant patients and their families, and to promote the need for organ donation.
Hern finally received his heart transplant in a successful surgery in December 1996. However, he died the following October after anti-rejection medications failed. Shortly after his death, the JLH Foundation honored Hern’s memory with generous contributions to Houston Methodist Hospital to provide financial assistance for heart transplant patients.
John L. Hern
Since 2002, more than 140 transplant patients and their families have benefited from the JLH Foundation’s gift to the Methodist Transplant Center. Their funds support patients and families through medication and parking assistance, organ donor education and community awareness. Because of their contributions, Houston Methodist is honoring Hern by naming the new Methodist Transplant Center patient resource center in his name–The John L. Hern Patient Resource Center.
Hern’s reputation for generosity lives on through the JLH Foundation as it has committed additional resources, and expanded its gift to support all organ transplant patients at the Methodist Transplant Center.
In addition to supporting the Methodist Transplant Center, the JLH Foundation’s contributions help to promote awareness of the need for more organ donors by underwriting the annual Astros Race for the Pennant, which will be held on Saturday, May 31. By sponsoring this race for the fourth year in a row, with more than 3,000 participants and hundreds of volunteers, the JLH Foundation is confident the Astros partnership will increase community awareness of the importance of organ donation.
Hern’s generous and loving nature will live on through the JLH Foundation for many years to come. Through his devotion to helping those less fortunate, many patients and families have benefited from his kind-hearted desire to help those around him.