West Jefferson Organ Donor’s Floragraph To Be Unveiled, Featured On Donate Life’s 2016 Rose Parade Float

MARRERO, LA – West Jefferson organ donor Matt Walsh, a Slidell native and LOPA (Louisiana Organ Procurement Agency) hero, will be honored on the Donate Life float, Light Up the World, in the 2016 Rose Parade on New Year’s Day.

         Walsh gave the ultimate gift – the gift of life – through organ, tissue and eye donation. Walsh’s family will view his floragraph for the first time on Friday, December 4, 2015, at the West Jefferson Medical Center’s Hospital Atrium, 1101 Medical Center Blvd., in Marrero, LA, at 9:00 a.m.

         Walsh, along with more than 50 other honorees who, in death, gave life to others through donation, will be showcased for more than 40 million viewers through floragraph portraits, each made entirely of organic materials. Donate Life California Volunteers decorated Walsh’s floragraph almost to completion. Walsh’s family will complete his portrait with organic materials on Friday, December 4. 

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         On the night of his car accident in April 2006, Walsh was rushed to the hospital. When LOPA spoke with Walsh's mother about organ donation, Tere Walsh recalled thinking, “I knew I wanted to donate his organs because of the work I do as a nurse. I have taken care of trauma patients who became organ donors, and I knew I wanted others to live through him, if that was the only choice left.”

         Walsh saved and enhanced the lives of many that day through organ, tissue and eye donation. His heart saved the life of a 65-year-old man, his kidney went to a 12-year-old girl and his liver saved the life of a 47-year-old woman. Tere said his corneas, bones, skin and ligaments were also used to help others.

         Walsh’s family will travel to Pasadena, CA, to help with the completion of the Donate Life float and attend the 2016 Rose Parade on January 1, 2016.

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