LifeCenter Northwest will be honored Virginia Mason organ donor, Deanna Carr, on the Donate Life America float in the 2017 Tournament of Roses Parade. Each year the float is designed to highlight memorial “floragraph” portraits of organ, eye, and tissue donors. The floragraphs are made out of dried flowers, seeds, and other organic materials, and stunningly capture the donor’s image. Through these memorial portraits, the float offers a tribute to the donors, their families, and the generous act of giving life through organ, eye, and tissue donation.
We were humbled to bring together Deanna’s family, friends, members of the Bellevue and Eastside Fire Department, and medical staff at Virginia Mason who were involved with her donation, to remember her life and unveil her floragraph. During the event, Deanna’s mother, and two childhood friends, were able to contribute to the final touches of her floragraph by finishing Deanna’s eyebrows with the last of the organic material. Those in attendance were able to dedicate a rose with a personalized message of hope, love, and remembrance for Deanna.
The floragraph was returned to Pasadena, California and placed on the Donate Life America Float just prior to the parade. Deanna’s mother, her family, and close friends had an opportunity to see the floragraph again as they watched the float pass by during the Rose Parade.
The event was a beautiful tribute to Deanna, and was filled with love and smiles as stories of her childhood, her 22 years as a Bellevue Firefighter, and her many accomplishments were shared.
“I saw something really beautiful happen. As the process started to switch and we began to accept the very unfortunate truth that Deanna was not going to survive, I started to see pride on people’s faces. It really was about the way the conversation shifted to: Deanna’s going to save lives,” said Jonathan Merker, LifeCenter Northwest Donor Family Advocate, who worked closely with Deanna’s family through the donation process.
Evident through all of the memories was Deanna’s unwavering sense of dedication to her family, friends, her colleagues, and to helping others. She was an amazing woman who not only saved lives as a firefighter, but someone who continued to save lives even after death.
We are incredibly thankful for everyone who helped make the day so special, including Virginia Mason Medical Center, the Bellevue Fire Department, and Eastside Fire & Rescue.
For more information on Deanna’s Story click here.