Giving the Gift of Life: Hospital Honors Family Donating Loved One’s Organs

First Honor Walk at McLaren Northern Michigan Honor's Troy Aldrich and his family

About 200 employees at McLaren Northern Michigan Hospital in Petoskey stopped their work day for a moment they’ll never forget.

For that moment, time stood still in honor of Troy Aldrich and his family’s decision to give a gift that will last a lifetime.

“He was funny, very funny, always joking around,” said Lisa Carney, Troy’s mother. “He was a very giving, caring person, just anything he could give anytime he could help somebody, he never thought of himself,” said Carney.

His family says he was compassionate, funny, and kind.

At just 22 years old, Troy Aldrich was in an accident that put him on life support.

After 9 days, his family made a heroic decision to take Troy off life support and donate his organs.

“I know it’s what he would do if he were sitting here it really was never a question they asked me and I just (said) – yes,” said Carney.

Monday, staff members at McLaren lined the halls to honor Troy’s gift. Standing in silence to thank him for this selfless choice with the hospital’s first honor walk.

His heart, kidney and liver will be donated to those desperately in need.

“I know what it’s like to be in the receiving end of those organ donations and that’s amazing,  five years of dialysis it was to the point where, okay I’m done with this and then I got my transplant,” said Marcia Bolhouse, an organ recipient.

Her donor was 19 year old Clare McCormick, who died in an accident.

Marcia has since met Clare’s mother and sister. She keeps photos of Clare as a daily reminder of the girl who saved her life.

“It’s amazing, I don’t know how you say thank you to people like that it’s an amazing gift, I had a hard time not tearing up today at our walk of honor,” said Bolhouse.

Just knowing that Troy’s legacy means life for another, brings comfort to his family.

“I want people to remember that this is something he would do this is who he was a very giving person,” said Carney. “It just gives me such peace to know that he’s that we’re doing something good for others.”