Thursday, December 31, 2009
DONATE LIFE ROSE PARADE FLOAT-SALT LAKE CITY, UT- ROSE PARADE MEMORIES LIVE ON FOR ORGAN DONOR'S FAMILY
By Katie Drake
The Salt Lake Tribune
Updated: 12/31/2009 07:00:23 AM MST
Caroline Bryant passed away in 1997, but she'll ride, in more ways than one, in the 2010 Rose Parade
Bryant was an organ donor and her liver recipient, Tyla Newbold, will ride on the "Donate Life" float with Bryant's son, Carter.
Bryant was eight months pregnant with Carter, now 12, when she was killed in a car accident in Cedar City. Her organs were given to seven people, all waiting for a life-saving transplant.
One of those recipients was Newbold, then 16, who was suffering from a blood clotting disorder that destroyed her liver. The Sandy teen had been on the transplant list for 18 months, and doctors said she had only weeks to live.
Newbold and Carter will join 22 other organ recipients on the float, along with a floragraph of Caroline, a portrait created using seeds and spices. They hope to raise awareness of organ donation --- and recruit desperately needed future donors.
There were 375 Utahns waiting for organ transplants as of Wednesday, according to Intermountain Donor Services. Each day 15 to 20 Americans die awaiting transplants.
Utah actually ranks in the top 10 states for donors signed up, said Alex McDonald, with Intermountain Donor Services. The trouble is that only one in 80 deaths meets the requirements for donation. Generally, donors must pass away from a head injury, in the hospital and on a ventilator.
The pain and grief of such a sudden death is often eased by the knowledge that someone else will get a second chance, McDonald said.
Since Newbold's transplant, the two families have become one, united by ties of love and blood.
Newbold made a quilt for baby Carter soon after recovering from her transplant, which he still cherishes. She created it as a school sewing project, and while she was docked points for making a baby quilt instead of a full-sized one, she has no regrets. That quilt is just one small way Newbold is trying to show her appreciation.
The Newbold family also decorated a tree in Caroline's honor at the Festival of Trees, but no matter what they do, the family knows they can never repay the wonderful gift, said Teresa Newbold, Tyla's mother.
"It's very humbling," she said, "because you realize someone has to die for your daughter to live."
Both families, along with Caroline's parents, will be in Pasadena, Calif., for the parade, watching Carter and Tyla from the grandstand. They had the chance to complete the decorations on the float, and place Caroline's floragraph on the float. They also attended a gala dinner to honor organ donor families.
Carter and Tyla were nominated to appear on the float by singing group All-4-One, who wrote a song in honor of Caroline called "When I Needed An Angel."
The group became good friends with the Newbolds after Tyla received her transplant. Stuck in the hospital, she was unable to attend their concert. Her mother contacted their manager, hoping for an autograph, but the band chose to visit her in the hospital instead.
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