CAMDEN, SC (WIS) - A former Camden High School student, who died after a vehicle crash in 2015, ended up saving lives through organ donation and will be honored on a national stage.
On Tuesday, Drew David’s family and Camden High students and staff are putting the final touches on a Floragraph, a portrait made out of flowers that will show David’s face. The portrait will be seen on a float during the Rose Parade in Pasadena, California.
The honor comes from Donate Life and Sharing Hope SC and it’s due to David’s lasting impact in life and death. David, an athlete and student at Camden High, was 16 years old when he registered at the DMV as an organ donor.
David died at 17 years old in 2015. But because he was an organ donor, four people were given the gift of life- and another the gift of sight.
"He’s basically saved four peoples' and helped the vision of a fifth person. And that just to me solidifies what kind of impact he had on everybody,” said Denny Beckley, one of David’s former coaches.
"There’s a part of him that lives on, and there’s a part of him that helped someone else live on as well. He’s being honored and he’s going to represent our state in the Rose Parade and that’s just something that’s pretty unbelievable for us as a family to get to experience and relive,” Drew David’s father Trey David said.
Drew’s family has not yet met the recipients of his organs. His dad Trey, if and when it does happen, says it will be a “beautiful moment.”
There is impact behind David’s choice because in South Carolina there are about 1,000 people on an organ waiting list. The vast majority of those on the list are waiting for kidneys. According to a Sharing Hope SC spokesperson Mark Johnson, David was able to help someone who needed a kidney.
South Carolina has become one of the top five in the country when it comes to organ donation, but some say more can be done.
“He saved four lives in this tragedy...one person has the potential to save up to eight lives through organ donations and improve the lives of 75 or more through tissue and cornea donation. So one person has the tremendous amount of ability to leave a legacy behind,” Johnson said.
It can take two years or more for South Carolinians to get a kidney transplant, according to data from We are Sharing Hope SC.
Nationally though, the same data shows 20 people a day die waiting on a life-saving transplant.
We are Sharing Hope SC says there are several ways to become an organ donor: you can sign up at your DMV with your driver’s license, you can go to donatelife.org, or you can use the Iphone health app medical tab.