Sixteen-year-old Heath Eiland's death last May left a North Austin community struggling to move on. Those who knew Eiland gathered at the Cook Walden Funeral Home on Saturday afternoon to memorialize him on a national stage.
Classmates described Eiland as a friend to all who never met a stranger. Since passing away, Eiland has continued to help others as an organ and tissue donor.
It's that sacrifice that brought everyone together for a special ceremony. Charity Donate Life chose to memorialize Eiland in a floral portrait for their rose parade float. After a brief service, friends and family decorated his picture with flowers and natural materials.
"It's an honor for my son to be acknowledged for doing what he's doing after life, what he did before life," Eiland's mother, Rebecca Eiland said. "That is being good to people, just being a good person and just always helping others."