'Monk' Star Jason Gray-Stanford Has Surprise Reunion With Heart Transplant Doctor (2023)


In celebration of American Heart Month, "Monk" star Jason Gray-Stanford talks with Kelly about his unexpected heart failure in 2018 that lead him to receive a heart transplant. Jason talks about the importance of being intuitive with your body, and how vital it is to not put off reaching out to your doctor when something feels off. Also, Jason is shocked by a surprise visit from one of the doctors who played a big part in his heart transplant surgery, Dr. Toma of St. Paul's Hospital.

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(Audience applauding) - All right, everybody.

We are back in it's American Heart Month.

Not long ago.

My next guest became an unlikely advocate for heart health, when his own heart began to fail.

You've, seen him as Lieutenant Randall Disher on the long-running series, "Monk".

He's joining us today.

Thanks to a successful heart, transplant.

Say, hello to Jason Gray-Stanford.

(audience, applauding), (hip-hop, music, playing) I'm, a hugger.

- I heard you were a hugger.

- I know this has been killing me.

'cause I have to like elbow people.

- Yeah. - So-- - I, know. - Normal and weird.

- The crazy times.

We live in. - I, know, I know, at least we're in the same room.

That's positive.

So I'd ask how you're feeling but, well, you posted this video.

So let's see it real quick., Like, I, don't know if anyone's ever done.


- It's me putting in the work with the W-E-R-K.

- Dude, I'm, telling you.

(audience applauding) First of all, you're, making those one things.

Look: easy.

That's hell on earth, my man, I've done that before.

Those things are heavy.

- Yeah, well, I tell you.

It took a long time to get back to that point.

- Yeah, I was gonna say, but you.

This is the interesting thing that I love that people are gonna hear because you are a fitness guy.

Like, you had.

You were like the picture of health kind of walking, around, right? And, then-- - Yeah.

This is something that really truly came: outta left, field. - Yeah., - And.

You know, hit you on a Tuesday when you least expect it.

And I was., About, 2018, I was actually working on a project, and I actually, I was working long hours as you do, right? - Yeah.

- And.

When I was visiting friends, kind of burning the candle at both ends, and you know, sure enough, I just felt a little off.

I thought it was.

The flu.

And I literally, was like, "Aagh, get over this, get some rest.

You'd, be bounced right.

Back". - [Kelly], Yeah., - But, something in the back of my mind was like, "Give your doctor, a call 'cause you're just about to fly back home to Los Angeles".

And you know, I'm, just not feeling right., So, I do, and he says, "You know what? You should go, get yourself, just go.

Get yourself, checked, out., We wanna, make sure you don't have, you know, pneumonia, bronchitis or something. - [Kelly], Yeah. - You, know, and so sure enough I go to the doctors and they wind up doing an EKG.


That doctor comes in and says, "Your heart's in a crazy arrhythmia.

You need to go to the emergency room, now".

And, the cardiologist comes in, and basically, after doing a barrage of tests, you know, kind of talks to me and says, "You've got heart: failure". - And, you're, probably like, "This is unbelievable.

I, take care of myself." - Once again.

- [Kelly] Yeah. - Once again, to me.

It's almost ridiculous.

It's, almost like I'm in denial.

- [Kelly], Yeah., - Like.

If you want the truth, I'm like, come on. - [Kelly], Yeah. - I'm, like, "No, no, I feel okay.

Let's, go, I'll get outta here and just get back to regular life".

But, you know.

It was stable for quite some time.

- With, like medicine? - With medication and proper checkups.

You know.

Come to the end of 2019, I'm in a spin class, and off I go, 20 minutes later I, wake up on the floor.

- [Kelly] That's scary.

- With, the spin class, all looking at me.


They basically rush me to the emergency room.


Really from that point on.

It was kind of a rapid downhill descent.

- [Kelly], Yeah., - That doctor comes back in and says, "We have a donor heart for you.

We have one that's available.


You have two hours to decide.

If you want it".

So-- - That's such a big decision.

- That, lands, yeah. - Yeah.

And, you know, and as I say.

You know, look at me, I'm, lucky to be sitting here.

Talking to you right now because of it.

You know, and because of the-- - God bless the advances.

- 100%, I mean.

- Yeah., - And, the expertise of my wonderful, wonderful doctors and the nurses and all the staff.

And, most importantly, to my donor and the donor family who, without their selflessness and kindness and generosity, I mean, I ain't sitting here talking to you right, now, doing this.

- Yeah. - [Jason], Yeah., (audience, applauding) - Now, we're gonna, do this, yeah. - It's, pretty crazy. - Well, Jason doesn't know this, but we have one of the doctors who played a big part in his transplant journey on the line.


Let's everybody say hello to the medical director of heart transplants at St., Paul's, Hospital, Vancouver., - When.

Is he coming up? There he is.

- Dr.

Mustafa Toma., (audience, applauding) - Dr., Toma.


How are you, sir?, - Jason, good to see you, man. - Wonderful, wonderful, to see you.

What a surprise.

They got me.

I had no idea.

This was coming.

- No.

It's amazing what you're capable of doing.


We were saying, the advances.

It's amazing that he's able to live his life at the selflessness of this donor, but at the same time, it's kind of amazing that this person, that was in perfect health, basically, ends up having heart, problems.


What do you think people should take away from this? - Well, I mean,? As you guys probably know, heart disease is the number one killer in north America.


It's really never too late for people or too early, to be honest, to get their blood, their heart checked.

You know.

They need to start by exercising.

They need to watch sort of diet.

They need to see their family doctor on a regular basis and to make sure that their cholesterol and their blood pressure are all controlled.


Obviously they need to listen to their body.

Jason is living proof that heart disease can affect young people as well.

And I think he did a great job and really, he's really lucky that he's sought medical attention and look at where he is now.: - Yeah, absolutely., (audience, applauding) - Yeah. - I, mean--., - Yeah.

Well, it's bitsy.


A lot of credit goes to these guys, right, there.

- No, absolutely.


He is right.

- Dr.

Toma and his team.

- But.

He is right.


Also, give yourself credit 'cause, where I'm from, it's like.

Unless you're, like bleeding from your head and like, can't move, like you just take it.

Like, where I'm from in the south.

It's like there, you know, you're taught as a kid, like, "You're fine, walk it off".

So, it's important to really be in tune with your body.

- It is absolutely.


Then Dr.

Toma, knows, I asked a lot of questions and I always kind of wanted to be a part of the process.

As best I could, you know, and-- - Watch, your life.

- Yeah, 100%., But, I mean, as I say, you know, just the care and the tact and the grace and the expertise that I was provided, was so comforting.

When you go through a big kind of moment, like this.

It's, a big deal, man. - [Kelly], Yeah. - You know, and I thank you, sir., You, know, and everybody, you know.

You, pass it on to everybody else.

Up there who knows.

(audience applauding) - A, quick, reminder, February is American Heart, Month and a good time to schedule a heart, checkup.


You didn't just hear this story and you didn't hear that, then listen, you just never know and better safe than sorry.


Why did Jason Gray-Stanford have a heart transplant? ›

'Monk' star Jason Gray-Stanford: I thought I was healthy — then I went into heart failure. The actor was on set when he felt like he had the flu. He was stunned when he was diagnosed with heart failure and later needed a lifesaving transplant.

When did Jason Gray-Stanford have a heart transplant? ›

Since the Nov. 12, 2020 transplant, Gray-Stanford, 51, has made a full recovery. "This gift I've been given has relit a light that was almost out.," he says. Until now he's only shared the news of his transplant and diagnosis with close family and friends.

Who is Jason Gray-Stanford wife? ›

Image of Who is Jason Gray-Stanford wife?
Jes Macallan is an American actress. She is best known for her roles as Josslyn Carver in ABC drama series Mistresses and Ava Sharpe in The CW superhero comedy-drama Legends of Tomorrow.

Does Jason Gray-Stanford play guitar? ›

“The Randy Disher Project” was a fan favorite of Monk — especially when Randy “didn't need a badge” — and left many to wonder if Gray-Stanford actually plays guitar in real life. “Yup I play probably as bad as Randy does,” he joked with me modestly. “The great writers wrote the words, I did the tune.”

Who is the longest living heart transplant patient? ›

Tony Huesman, who survived with a single transplanted heart longer than any other transplant patient, died Aug. 9 at his home in Washington Township, Ohio. Huesman received his heart in August 1978 at Stanford Hospital & Clinics, one of the early beneficiaries of the hospital's heart transplant program.

How long did the longest heart transplant live? ›

16 January 1952), who has lived for 34 years and 359 days after receiving his transplant on 3 June 1986, in London, Ontario, Canada as verified on 28 May 2021.

Is Jason Gray still married? ›

Gray's album Christmas Stories: Repeat The Sounding Joy features Gray's two older boys providing background vocals and hand-claps, while Gray's youngest son takes the lead vocal on the song "Christmas for Jesus". Due to irreconcilable differences, Gray divorced in January 2015.

Does Jason Gray have a son? ›

How old is Jason GREY Stanford? ›

What movies has Jason Gray-Stanford been in? ›

Who does Randy end up with in Monk? ›

In Monk, his most notable role, he played Lieutenant Randy Disher, a somewhat dim but good-intentioned policeman who ends up together with Monk's first assistant Sharona in the show's finale.

Where did Jason Gray go to college? ›

By that point though, Gray says he knew he did not want to be a historian. Philosophy was what truly interested him. “So after being in the “real-world” for about a year and a half, I went back and got a bachelors in philosophy from the University of Alabama,” he said.

What is the youngest heart transplant patient? ›

Elizabeth Craze is one of the youngest known recipients of a heart transplant. She received a new heart in 1984 at the age of 2 years, 10 months. The operation was performed at Stanford Hospital, Stanford, California by the team of Norman Shumway, one of the early pioneers of heart transplant surgery.

What is the world's longest organ transplant survivor has had a transplant? ›

Missouri farmer, 80, boasts one of the world's longest lasting transplanted kidneys. His sister's kidney has lasted 56 years and counting. Back in 1966, when kidney transplants were new and dangerous, Butch Newman was days from death.

How long did the first heart transplant patient survive? ›

In the lay media as well, this first transplant remains the most publicised event in world medical history. Although the first heart transplant patient survived only 18 days, four of Groote Schuur Hospital's first 10 patients survived for more than one year, two living for 13 and 23 years, respectively.

What is the maximum age for heart transplant in USA? ›

Heart transplants are possible for children and adults up to age 70 and in some circumstances up to age 75. How common are heart transplants? Heart transplants are rare. In 2020, just under 8,200 transplants were performed worldwide.

Can you live 30 years after heart transplant? ›

According to recent studies, the average life expectancy of a heart transplant patient is 9.16 years.

Why don t heart transplants last forever? ›

While transplanted organs can last the rest of your life, many don't. Some of the reasons may be beyond your control: low-grade inflammation from the transplant could wear on the organ, or a persisting disease or condition could do to the new organ what it did to the previous one.

Can you keep your old heart after a transplant? ›

Heart-to-Heart program allows patients to hold their own hearts after transplant. For those who receive a heart transplant, they are considered the lucky ones.

Can a heart transplant last a lifetime? ›

Out of 100 patients, 72 are alive five years after a heart transplant. How long does a transplanted heart last? Longer-term survival is increasing and there are several patients in the UK who have survived beyond 30 years.

Do they leave the old heart in during a heart transplant? ›

Most heart transplants are done with a method called orthotopic surgery, where most of your heart is removed but the back half of both upper chambers, called atria, are left in place. Then the front half of the donor heart is sewn to the back half of the old heart.

How many kids does Jason Gray have? ›

He has toured with Jeremy Camp, Sanctus Real, Matthew West, Shawn McDonald, Downhere, Big Daddy Weave, The Afters and others. Jason is married to Taya Gray, and they live in southern Minnesota with their three children.

What happened to Jason Gray's daughter? ›

She had met all of the goals the doctors wanted." Alice was a "super happy, healthy" little girl, so Gray said the aneurysm was completely unexpected. She went from being perfectly healthy to not knowing — almost in an instant — if she was even going to live.

When did Jason rejoin Studio C? ›

Studios with the ten original cast members, with which he reached the semifinals in the comedy competition Bring the Funny. However, with a cameo appearance in season 13, he was announced to be returning as a cast member starting season 14.

Who is Jason's half brother? ›

His father's half-brother Pelias seized Iolcos, and thus for safety Jason was sent away to the Centaur Chiron. Returning as a young man, Jason was promised his inheritance if he fetched the Golden Fleece for Pelias, a seemingly impossible task.

How many kids does Jason Gray from Studio C have? ›

Jason now has three children with his wife and is rather obsessed with Batman.

Does Lauren Daigle have a husband? ›

Lauren Daigle and Jeremy Philyaw's Wedding Website - The Knot.

When was Jason Gray-Stanford born? ›

Jason Gray-Stanford was born on May 19, 1970 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

How old is Jason status? ›

Does Jason Behr have kids? ›

While shooting The Grudge in Japan, he met actress Katherine Dee Strickland, whom he married on November 10, 2006, in Ojai, California. They have a son, born October 2013.

Who did Jason Gray-Stanford play in GREY's anatomy? ›

Seasons. Jason Gray-Stanford played Josh Englander in the season seven Grey's Anatomy episode Golden Hour.

Who is the lieutenant in Monk? ›

In his decades as an actor, Jason Gray-Stanford has appeared in a few medical dramas, often as a patient. And in his best-known role, as Lt. Randy Disher on "Monk," he faced all kinds of cases that defied easy explanation.

Who is Dilly in justified? ›

Jason Gray-Stanford - born on May 19, 1970 (1970-05-19) (age 53) in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada - is an actor. He guest stars as Dilly Crowe in the fifth season episode, "A Murder of Crowes".

Did Natalie get pregnant on Monk? ›

Traylor Howard (Natalie) really was pregnant during production. Thus, in every scene in which she appears, her stomach is concealed behind something, whether it be a car, a table, or a coat. The only exception is when Natalie "pretends" to be pregnant; then her stomach becomes completely visible.

Does Monk ever find out who killed his wife? ›

Eventually, this led Monk to Frank Nunn, the man who remotely detonated the bomb, killing Trudy. Before he could reveal who hired him for the job, Frank was killed. With that, Adrian solved the “how” of the murder, but the why was still a huge mystery.

Does Monk find out what happened to his wife? ›

Adrian Monk (Tony Shalhoub) finally discovers his wife Trudy's (Melora Hardin) murderer after twelve years of searching, concluding a seven-year, eight-season long arc.

Is Jason Gray LDS? ›

Gray served as a missionary to Argentina for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, of which he is a member.

Are the members of JK Studios Mormon? ›

A devout member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Mallory initially struggled with how to justify being involved in a comedy sketch show. Originally, Mallory wanted to pursue a career in art and ensure that she was constantly fighting for success.

Is Mallory from Studio C married? ›

She has kept her love life secret, away from the public. She is, however, rumoured to be single. There were rumours that Mallory Everton and Matt Meese were a thing. The two had a thing on screen in some of Studio C's sketches.

Why did Fiona Coote need a heart transplant? ›

In 1984 Fiona Coote, a healthy 14 year-old, was struck down by a viral infection that irreversibly weakened her heart. She was kept alive on total life support until Dr Victor Chang performed a successful heart transplant at St Vincent's Hospital Sydney.

Did the woman in the good nurse get a heart transplant? ›

Thankfully, we learn at the end of the movie that the real Amy did receive the surgery she needed for her heart. Amy said in an October 2022 interview with TooFab that she's healthier now than she was 20 years ago when these events transpired: "I'm now 17-18 years outside of my heart surgery."

When a black man's heart was transplanted without consent? ›

In 1968, Tucker, a Black man, had his heart transplanted into a white businessman without his or his family's knowledge or consent at the Medical College of Virginia, now part of Virginia Commonwealth University.

Are you the same person after a heart transplant? ›

While seemingly rare, It's not an unheard-of phenomenon. Some researchers believe it may be possible for donor organs to hold and even pass on the characteristics and experiences of its original owner onto the new recipient, via a process known as cellular memory.

How do they keep you alive during a heart transplant? ›

Heart transplant surgery will be done while you are in a deep asleep (under general anesthesia). Once you are asleep, a breathing tube will be put through your mouth into your lungs. The tube will be attached to a machine (ventilator) that will breathe for you during the surgery.

Can someone live a full life after a heart transplant? ›

Setting complications aside, Newark Beth Israel heart transplant enables most patients to return to a normal life— the majority of patients can resume all normal daily activities and live with minimal to no symptoms. Heart transplant patients can take control of their recovery and heart transplant life expectancy.

Who is the longest heart transplant survivor female? ›

Meet the Minnesota woman who is grateful to be the world's longest-surviving heart transplant recipient. After Cheri Latzke Lemmer's heart transplant in 1981, at age 24, she figured she'd be lucky to make it to 30. “It was scary back then—the survival rate wasn't very good,” Lemmer recalls.

Did Amy in The Good Nurse really have heart problems? ›

While employed as a nurse, she developed cardiomyopathy which she hid from her employers, to protect her job and her health insurance, and kept working contrary to medical advice. In 2008, Loughren had an experimental heart surgery, and her health has improved.

How did The Good Nurse get caught in real life? ›

Finally caught...

New computer systems created a digital footprint of Cullen's actions, and alarm bells began to ring when he was caught accessing rooms and treatments for those who were not his patients. Cullens was finally caught in 2003 after a new nurse Amy Loughren joined him on the night shift was Somerset.

Who Cannot have a heart transplant? ›

Some common reasons why a heart transplant may not be the right treatment for you include: You are too ill or frail to cope with the surgery and aftercare. You have recently had cancer, a serious infection, or a stroke. You may struggle taking the immunosuppressant medicines after a heart transplant.

Who Cannot receive a heart transplant? ›

Absolute contraindications for adults and children include, but may not be limited to: Major systemic disease. Age inappropriateness (70 years of age) Cancer in the last 5 years except localized skin (not melanoma) or stage I breast or prostate.

How long after death can a heart be used for transplant? ›

The Heart: 4-6 hours

The heart is only viable for 4-6 hours. Body size is also significant in heart matching, as the donor's heart must fit comfortably inside the recipient's ribcage.

What is the hardest organ to get a transplant for? ›

Lungs are the most difficult organ to transplant because they are highly susceptible to infections in the late stages of the donor's life. They can sustain damage during the process of recovering them from the donor or collapse after surgeons begin to ventilate them after transplant.

What is the most requested organ for transplant? ›

Kidney. The kidneys are the most commonly transplanted organ.

What is the rarest organ transplant? ›

Small intestine transplantation is the rarest type of solid organ transplant. Currently, approximately half are pediatric recipients.

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