Legendary Saints punter, Thomas Morestead, paid Monroe a visit. The Houston native makes the visit to Northeast Louisiana, to check in with family. But, this latest trip is only a part of something even more special.
“I was just reminiscing about how all of this started, ” says Morestead. “And, pretty cool to come up here and raise some money.”
Morestead provided a sense of inspiration for hundreds of children at Barkdull Faulk Elementary in Monroe. Although, his visit to the city is about paying tribute to someone taken from us way too soon.
“How can we give back, specifically the PICU that gave our son such great service, ” says John Perry.
In 2015, John Perry and his wife Holley took their son, John Clarke Perry, to the hospital for what was initially thought to be a common cold.
From an interview in 2019, Holley Perry described the pain she endured during that time. “I remember the nurses kept saying, ‘We’ve got a really sick baby,'”.
It was soon discovered young John Clarke Perry had an abnormal muscle malformation in his brain. On November 29, 2015 – he passed away. Their son’s heart soon saved the life of Davis Boswell in Alabama.
“You can’t deny God in this situation, ” says Holley Perry, from the 2019 interview. “Davis came to us. We saw him in another six months. We went out to eat. He was sitting at the opposite end of the table. He was reaching for us.”
The love continues to spread over five years later. John Perry created a foundation in memory of his son, the John Clarke Perry Foundation. The family continues to shine a light on organ donation.
“You know, I started doing the numbers, ” says John Perry. “We receive money, we give it away, that’s how the foundation works. Five years, we’ve given away over $75,000 to families in need.”
The Perrys looked to give back to St. Francis Hospital, who assisted the family during their time of need. Little did they know, they received quite an honor in return.
“We looked a different options, ” says John Perry. “They approached us and said, “Why don’t we put your son’s name on the side of the building.”
John Clarke Perry isn’t with us physically. But, with the help of some good friends, his name will never be forgotten.
“[Thomas Morestead] was a huge advocate of ours, ” says John Perry. “He shared it with Drew Brees. Thomas is a great friend.”