News & Events

Marty Phillips plays with (a new) heart


Marty Phillips, the saxophone playing heart failure patient whose impromptu concert in front of Tufts Medical Center staff members went viral on social media has received a heart transplant.

Phillips, a Melrose, Massachusetts resident, car salesman and musician, received the lifesaving transplant at Tufts Medical Center on September 25, 2016 after waiting 101 days in a hospital bed.

“I was really slipping. My blood pressure was down to nothing. The news that they had found a heart couldn’t have come at a better time,” said the 54-year-old Phillips. “I had the transplant at 8:39 on that Sunday morning and had a new heart beating in me by 7pm that night.”

While in the hospital, members of his medical team escorted Phillips outside for some air and came across the Tufts MC staff appreciation barbecue. The band Off Label was playing to the crowd and after Phillips, who was dressed in his medical robe and sitting in a wheelchair, had a brief talk with the saxophone player, he was handed the instrument and allowed to serenade the hundreds in attendance.

“It’s great to be playing again. It feels like I never stopped,” said Phillips at the time. Video of the performance went viral on Facebook, receiving some 23,000 views in just a few days.

Phillips is now home and recovering. He says he’s “feeling fantastic” and is looking forward to leading a healthier life—cooking his own foods—and getting back involved with his music.

“I can feel the heart beating inside of me for the first time in four months.  It’s perfect,” he says. “I had the most amazing care at every level at Tufts MC. I can blow my own horn as loud as possible now – literally.”

Phillips will be out of work for another six months. A Go Fund Me page has been set up in his name.