WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (WGHP) — A Winston-Salem man is encouraging others to be organ donors after his heart donor journey. 

His name is Sherman Transou, and he is a 64-year-old heart recipient. 

Six years ago, Transou got the news from his doctors that his heart was failing. For several months, doctors had him on several treatments, including adding a mechanical heart. 

“I was declining each and every day,” Transou said.

After several attempts, doctors told him the news no one wanted to hear.

“He said … ‘Your heart is in bad shape … You got a 50/50 chance to live,” Transou said.

His last hope was to get a heart transplant. But a new heart had to match Transou’s weight, blood type and heart size.

It could take months or even years to get the right heart.

According to the NC Department of Administration. more than 3,000 North Carolinians are waiting for an organ transplant.

If an organ donor is found, it’s not a guarantee. 

“And even if you get the heart, is it going to work?” Transou said.

Transou’s wait for a donor was shorter than most. It took just six months to get the call for a second chance to live. 

After ten hours of surgery, he got the new heart and then an unexpected letter from the donor’s mother which he holds dearly. 

Now Transou hopes his story will encourage others to become organ donors.  

“Having people that are willing to donate … to help a cause for someone else, to be able to have that second chance, to be able to live a vibrant life” Transou said.

Currently, more than 5.5 million North Carolinians have an organ donor designation on their driver’s license or ID card.

If you are interested in becoming an organ donor, click here.