2015 Rose Parade Float
Philip Alexander Dhanens
JJ’s Legacy is proud to Honor Philip Alexander Dhanens
in the 2015 Rose Parade with a Floragraph.
Organ, Tissue and Cornea Donor
Age 18 ~ Bakersfield, CA
Donated on 9/4/2012
at St. Agnes Memorial Hospital
Joy from Philip
Philip Alexander Dhanens was a fun-loving, 18-year-old who had just left for college. At more than 6’5″, he had earned the name “Big Phil” and was known as an affectionate son and friend and for his wonderful bear hugs. On a Saturday night, September 1, 2012, Philip slipped into a coma as a result of alcohol poisoning from a college fraternity hazing event. He died the next day, and the Dhanens decided to donate Phllip’s organs, tissue and corneas. His mother Diane noted that “Months later, we realized that our choice to offer Philip’s body was heaven sent. Regardless of our overwhelming grief and emotional trauma, we were able to respond in a loving way to people in need.”
Philip Alexander Dhanens was a fun-loving , 18-year-old who enjoyed people of all ages. The youngest of three brothers, he was truly “all personality,” said his mother Diane.
As a baby, his mother, Diane, was concerned that he was too small, but the pediatrician told her that “Philip is going to be a big boy.” As he grew to be 6’5″ (and 3/8ths), he earned the name “Big Phil” and was known for his wonderful bear hugs.
“Philip made friends quite easily. His wit and humor had something to do with his ease in befriending others, but his ability to forgive and forget was equally expressed,” recalled his mother, Diane. “Many times when he would get into trouble, Philip would quickly apologize. Since he was quite affectionate, a kiss and a hug were often part of his reconciliation.”
On Saturday, September 1, 2012, the Dhanens received a phone call at 3:30am. Philip was in a coma, the result of alcohol poisoning from a fraternity hazing event. He had just left for college and was two weeks into his freshmen year.
“After meeting with a hospital core group comprised of an administrator, a chaplain, Philip’s primary nurse, a social worker and a neurologist, we knew that Philip would no longer be with us on earth,” said Diane. Around mid-morning, Diane’s husband, Paul, thought they should donate Philip’s organs.
“As shocking and sad as was our 30-hour ordeal, our nurse was quite pleasant and very comforting,” Diane recalled . “The process was explained thoroughly and very helpful information was given to us to read and consult.”
Philip was pronounced dead at 10:47am on Sunday, September 2, 2012.
Diane noted that “It wasn’t until after several months that we actually ‘felt’ joy in our decision to donate Philip’s organs, tissue and cornea. We realize that our choice to offer Philip’s body was heaven sent. Regardless of our overwhelming grief and emotional trauma, we were able to respond in a loving way to people in need. God truly works in mysterious ways.”