AdventHealth and Central Florida organ and tissue donor program OurLegacy celebrated National Donate Life Blue and Green Day with a memorial pinwheel garden honoring the 230 Central Florida heroes in the United States who saved lives through organ donation in 2021. On public display at both AdventHealth Orlando and the Lake Eola Peninsula, each pinwheel honors a life and enduring legacy of an organ donor hero.
A pinwheel’s ability to capture and pass on energy is a symbolic reminder to the community of the power that a person has to pass on the gift of life through organ, eye, and tissue donation. One registered organ donor has the potential to save up to eight lives through vital organ donation.
“When I look at the pinwheels, I see a lot of colors and energy,” OurLegacy associate medical director Amay Parikh said. “Organ donor heroes can pass on their energy through the gift of life to folks who need it. This display of honor is a great representation of how organ donation can give life to a generation of people in need, who can now give their energy to the world.”
In addition to the memorial pinwheel gardens, downtown Orlando, Lake Eola, and AdventHealth glowed blue and green in honor of the gift of life made possible by organ, eye, and tissue donors for National Donate Life Blue and Green Day, observed on April 22, 2022.
In 2021, 719 vital organs were donated for lifesaving transplants thanks to the generosity of Central Florida organ donors and their families. Each donation gave new life to a recipient in need locally and across the United States. Today, more than 100,000 Americans are awaiting a lifesaving organ transplant. In Florida, approximately 5,200 people are currently on the waiting list. AdventHealth and OurLegacy salute those who register as lifesaving organ, eye, and tissue donors and make life possible for those in need. Organ donor heroes gave the gift of a lifesaving transplant to 277 patients at AdventHealth Transplant Institute in 2021, through deceased and living donation.
When Samantha Rouse unexpectedly lost her husband, James “Jim” Rouse, in April 2021, she was sure of one thing: he always wanted to help others. As young newlyweds they had talked about their final wishes to be organ donors. Samantha was not surprised. Jim was a husband, father, and friend who was always there for his community in time of need. When Jim died, he saved four lives through vital organ donation and gave the gift of sight to two more through cornea donation.
“Jim was an amazing man, father, and friend who would help anyone, anytime,” Rouse said. “One year ago today was the day my husband donated his organs. It was not only the hardest moment of my life, but it was also the proudest. There is something comforting, knowing there is a part of him out there helping someone. If you can help someone, you should,” she said.