Augusta, GA – November 26, 2018 – On New Year’s Day 2019, Briana Brooks will be remembered for both the life she led and the gift of organ donation she gave after tragically losing her life in September, 2014. She will be honored with an artistic floral portrait called a floragraph on the 2019 Donate Life Rose Parade® Float that is themed “Rhythm of the Heart.” This year marks the 16th appearance of a Donate Life float in the parade, which is viewed in person by thousands every January 1st in Pasadena, California, and on television by millions around the world. Along with floragraphs depicting individuals who have saved lives through donation, transplant recipients who have received donated organs or tissue will ride the float on the parade path, and the float is accompanied by living organ donors who have given a kidney or part of another vital organ to someone in need.
Members of the community and the media are invited to join LifeLink® in a special event as Briana’s floragraph is unveiled to her family. Her family will then add the finishing touches to Briana’s floragraph before it is sent to Pasadena to be placed on the Donate Life Rose Parade® Float.
When: Wednesday, November 28, 2018
Location: LifeLink® of Georgia, 2875 Northwoods Parkway, Norcross, GA 30071
When Briana Brooks received her driver permit, she made the decision to register as an organ donor, and with that single act she would change the lives of others forever. It was no surprise that Briana made that decision – from a young age, she felt destined to help people. Influenced by her pediatrician, she had long proclaimed to her mom, “I want to be a pediatrician and save lives!” and Briana pursued that dream. She graduated in 2011 from George Washington Carver, Health and Sciences Research High School and was awarded a scholarship to continue her studies, which she planned to continue after a brief break when she became a mother.
Briana, already a mother of two, was seven months pregnant when she and her fiancé were kidnapped at gunpoint. They were found hours later with catastrophic injuries; Briana was barely alive and sadly, her fiancé had already succumbed to his injuries. Once at the hospital, Briana underwent an emergency C-section to save the precious life she was carrying. Doctors prepared her family for the worst – her severe gunshot wound in the head was not survivable and it was unlikely her newborn baby, Kaylie, would survive either. Briana’s family began to pray for a miracle, for life.
Three days later, Briana’s decision to save lives through organ donation became a reality, as doctors informed her family that she was brain dead. Her family took comfort knowing Briana’s life was not going to be remembered for the brutal way she died but for the wonderful gifts she was able to share with four people. She fulfilled her dream to save lives, and she saved four families from experiencing the loss of their loved ones.
“Kaylie’s survival was another answered prayer; she recently celebrated her fourth birthday.” said Sadria Strong, Briana’s mom. “Briana’s legacy continues through her three children and the recipients of her organs. In her darkest moment she gave light and life to others.”
“With nearly 115,000 people currently waiting for a lifesaving transplant, we are grateful to be a part of this year’s Donate Life float, to bring worldwide attention to the need for more people to register as donors, and by doing so, help make an impact in the lives of many,” said Dustin T. Diggs, FACHE, Executive Director, LifeLink of Georgia. “We look forward to honoring Briana and her family on New Year’s Day.”
LifeLink of Georgia is a non-profit community service organization dedicated to the recovery of organs and tissues for transplantation in the state of Georgia and two counties, Aiken and Edgefield, in South Carolina. Register today as an organ and tissue donor. Visit www.LifeLinkFoundation.org for more information or call 800-544-6667.