Rose Parade float celebrates teen’s life-saving donation

Rose Parade float celebrates teen’s life-saving donation

Rose Parade float celebrates teen’s life-saving donation
Susan Van Campen, a living donor and a volunteer at OneLegacy, works on a floragraph to honor Joe Barratt. (Photo courtesy of OneLegacy Foundation)

CONCORD, CA (Dec. 29, 2023) — Joe Barratt’s memory is alive and well in the lives of others. And on New Year’s Day, he will ­be honored on the 2024 ­OneLegacy Donate Life float as it winds through the streets of Pasadena as part of the 135th Rose Parade.

The 18-year-old Concord High School senior’s life was cut short when he was struck by a hit and run driver as he walked home from a library on Feb. 10, 2020. After three days at the trauma center at John Muir Health in Walnut Creek, Barratt was removed from life support when it was determined he could not recover from his extensive injuries.

Prior to the accident, Barratt had recently visited the DMV and registered as a donor. So, in the aftermath of the accident, Barratt gave the gift of life to four others as an organ donor.

Life saving transplant

Ted Jung of San Francisco successfully received a life-saving heart transplant on Feb. 14, 2020, which also is National Donor Day, at Sutter Health California Pacific Medical Center.

Jung will be aboard the float on Jan. 1 with a floragraph portrait of Barratt that OneLegacy Foundation created to mark the occasion and the importance of organ donations.

“It is only fitting that someone with a heart as big as Joe’s would save the lives of several others during his last moments on earth,” his family wrote as part of a Go Fund Me page that was established at the time in his honor.
His inclusion on the float “is a beautiful way to recognize Joe’s impact on the life of another human being,” said Concord High Principal Julene MacKinnon.

“Many students and staff think of Joe’s kind heart and loving spirit, and how Joe brightened the room with his smile,” she added. “Honoring Joe is very fitting for the way he would always lend a hand to others.”

David Scholz
David Scholz

David Scholz is back in journalism as a freelance writer and photographer after nearly two decades in education. Prior to moving into teaching in 2000, he worked as a full-time journalist since 1988 for rural community and small daily newspapers in Central Ohio and Northern Nevada, and later in California with The Business Journal in Fresno and dailies in the Bay Area, including The Oakland Tribune and The San Francisco Chronicle. More recently Scholz also worked in an editing, writing, and page layout role with the Rossmoor News.