TULSA, Okla. — Preparations are underway for the rose parade in Pasadena, California. For the past ten years, Donate Life Oklahoma has had a float in the parade in order to raise awareness about organ donation.
This year, the float's theme is "Courage to Hope", symbolizing the courage of each organ donor's family.
“Our float will have floral graphs, which are floral pictures of 44 organ donors, organ and tissue donors and it will have 16 or 18 recipients who have received organ transplants,” Orlowski said.
One of those recipients is Tulsan Karen Hoyt. In 2010, her liver failed. Then in 2014, doctors found liver cancer. As she began chemotherapy, she was also placed on the list for an organ transplant.
AS SHE BEGAN CHEMOTHERAPY, SHE WAS ALSO PLACED ON THE LIST FOR AN ORGAN TRANSPLANT.
“But I also had to think that somewhere in Oklahoma, a family was living a very different story. They were making end of life decisions that might not have a happy outcome,” Hoyt said.
Hoyt received two initial donor offers, but neither of them were a good fit. Then, she got a call about a third offer.
“I thought as I drove to the hospital was wow, maybe this will be it, maybe this will be my chance, maybe this will be my second chance at life,” Hoyt said.
And it was, Gavin Chase Pryor gave her a liver.
Saturday, she will honor his memory by holding a picture of him while riding the float. For Hoyt, this experience has been life-giving in more ways than one. When Gavin's mother learned Hoyt was honoring her son in the parade, they arranged to meet.
“We’re going to meet for the first time, back when I get back home to Oklahoma and I get to bring her the rose that I dedicated to her son,” Hoyt said.
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