Lafayette Native to be Featured on Rose Parade Float

Ryan Viator, a Lafayette native and LOPA hero, will be honored on the Donate Life float, Journeys of the Heart, in the 2013 Rose Parade on New Year's Day.  The Louisiana Organ Procurement Agency (LOPA) and Lafayette General Medical Center (LGMC) made the announcement Tuesday.

Ryan gave the ultimate gift, the gift of life, through organ, tissue and eye donation. Ryan's family will view his floragraph for the first time at 10am on December 12, 2012 in the LGMC Atrium. 

Ryan, along with 71 other honorees who, in death, gave life to others through donation, will be showcased for 47 million viewers through floragraph portraits. Their portraits, each made entirely of organic floral materials, will be featured on huge floral timepieces that remind us of the preciousness of time we have to spend with our loved ones. Donate Life California Volunteers decorated Ryan's floragraph almost to completion. Ryan's family will complete his portrait with organic materials.

On April 7, 2000, Ryan's young life ended due to a severe head injury. In the midst of their incredible tragedy, Ryan's family reached beyond their grief and asked about organ donation. Ryan's giving heart, and love for life and others, was made more evident than ever before as he saved the lives of three people.

Ryan's mom, Shawnee Delahoussaye, explains, “Ryan was adventurous, and he was a risk-taker. He had many journeys of the heart. There were two things in life he dreamed of doing but never had the chance to accomplish – flying in a fighter jet and visiting California. We were excited to find out one of Ryan's recipients is a retired Air Force pilot. We feel like Ryan's dream has come true by giving new life to this recipient and flying through him. Ryan's final dream will become a reality on January 1, 2013, when the face of our blonde haired, green-eyed hero will be on display for the entire world to see in Pasadena, CA.” 

If you have questions or would like more information regarding LOPA's floragraph event, please contact Suzanna Morton, 256.724.2255 /

The Louisiana Organ Procurement Agency (LOPA) is the private non-profit organization that coordinates the recovery of organs and tissues and provides family support services during and after the donation process.

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