Each New Years day Pasadena California host’s the century old Rose Bowl Parade. Crowds fill the streets to marvel at the floral floats and celebrate the new year. For three local families, one float will offer the opportunity to see the face of a lost loved one, and the joy of joining 47-million viewers in honoring their sacrifice through floral portraits.
“To be apart of all those festivities in honor of my boy. I didn’t think I was going to make it seventeen years ago and here we are. I am proud to say he is my hero.” said LOPA Family Service Coordinator and mother of parade honoree Justin Harrison.
The honorees are Justin Harrison, Jordan Aucoin and Laci Taquino. Heros of the Louisiana Organ Procurement Agency. All three donors passed away unexpectedly. Together, their donations saved the lives of over 10 people.
“Well I was expecting two years. I was in the hospital with the doctors waiting on a transplant. I lay there in that hospital and watched many people die because there isn’t enough to go around. I received Justin’s heart and I was so thankful. When you receive a transplant you are born again really, you start a new life .” said Heart donor recipient Marily Thorn
As the new year begins many people are planning to follow new year’s resolutions. That may mean eating healthier or picking up a new hobby. For over one hundred and twenty four thousand people on the donation recipient waiting list, a year isn’t promised. Eighteen people die each day waiting on an organ donation.
“I want to help somebody, at least if I’m not going to be here at least I can do something to help somebody else survive. There’s two-thousand people right now in Louisiana waiting for that phone call. Why wouldn’t you? As my son said when he checked the box at the drivers license bureau that day, why wouldn’t you? .” said Hans Nelson, father of a donor.
LOPA volunteer and donor father, Hans Nelson, says his son never had the chance to have a family of his own. Through organ donation Christian Nelson’s his legacy lives on. Christian passed away after his freshmen year of college without warning. His choice to become a donor saved the lives of four people in need and gave two others sight.
So, if you are scheduled to renew your license in 2015, consider a new years resolution you can accomplish. When your’e at the DMV, it’s as simple as saying yes to a little red heart on your license. But it could mean life for someone one day.