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Monroe baby who donated heart will be honored at Rose Bowl Parade

Artwork of John Clarke made using dried flowers and seeds will be on a float called “Courage to Hope.”
Published: Dec. 9, 2021 at 4:09 PM CST
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MONROE, La. (KNOE) - A six-month-old baby from Monroe who passed away in 2015 will be honored at the upcoming Rose Bowl Parade.

John Clarke Perry’s legacy lives on through two different people, including a child from Alabama who received his heart. Now, Perry’s legacy will be honored on a float at the Rose Bowl Parade in Pasadena, California.

“It’s changed so many lives and we’re all here for a certain reason and we never know how much time we have and in six months the impact he had. It’s really a story about a hero and to say it’s a tragedy is an insult to him and what he did,” said Jonathan Perry.

John Clarke will be one of 36 people in the United States that will be honored on the float. His parents, Jonathan and Holley Perry, are excited to experience the parade and see their son honored in a very special way.

“That’s one thing that does get me emotional, you know, hearing about it. When that float makes a turn for a quarter-mile, everybody is standing up there screaming and hollering,” said Jonathan Perry.

Artwork of John Clarke was made by his family using dried flowers and seeds. It will be displayed on the float called “Courage to Hope.”

“I mean that’s exactly what those individuals that donate, they are courageous and the donation altogether has given us hope and peace,” said Holley Perry.

Six years ago, Jonathan and Holley went through something that no couple should have to go through. Their six-month-old, John Clarke, passed away from a brain aneurysm.

“He was just a great baby. I think that’s something the Lord blessed us with, knowing he was going to be here for six months, gave us an incredible son,” said Jonathan Perry.

It was then his parents made the decision to bless someone else’s life by donating John Clarke’s heart and liver to people who needed them. His heart was given to Davis Boswell from Alabama, who is only one month younger than John Clarke.

“I’m sure he’s looking down real proud of everything that’s come from his legacy and just to know that his heart is still beating in Davis’s chest, which that heart got a check-up yesterday and was absolutely perfect, I’m sure he’s proud,” said Holley Perry.

Jonathan said the parade will be a beautiful tribute to their son, other organ donors, and recipients.

“You know, it really is the float of the Rose Parade because everybody sees the effect of organ donation and the heroes and so everybody gets up and honors them because they know there’s a family like us that’s lost a child or a sibling and it’s really honoring to John Clarke, but to us as well,” said Jonathan Perry.

It also just so happens John Clarke’s parents are big football fans. They said John Clarke had a passion for football too, even as a newborn, so they know he’ll be looking down on the parade.

“I mean from the get-go he would sit there and he would love to watch football and no matter how we tried to get pictures of him, he was just lying there looking at the Saints game or ULM, whoever was on TV,” said Perry.

You can see the “Courage to Hope” float makes its way through the parade on January 1, 2022, at 10 a.m. on our sister station, KAQY.

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