Deceased organ donors to be honored in parade

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VENICE, Fla.- A father and daughter killed in a plane crash on a Venice beach are being honored during the holidays.

The story of Army Sergeant First Class Ommy Irizarry and his 9-year-old daughter Oceana touched people worldwide. In June 2014, a pilot made a desperate call for help and was forced to crash land his plane on a Venice beach. Irizarry and his daughter Oceana were killed when they were hit by the plane.

After the crash, their family decided to donate the father and daughter’s organs. Their gift of life will be front and center in the Rose Parade on New Year’s Day.

“I hope they don’t look at the tragedy as much as the silver lining that came out of the tragedy,” said Jasmine Johnson.

Oceana’s organs saved the lives of three people and her father’s tissue donation changed the lives of dozens of others.

Now, their faces will on the “Donate Life” float in the Tournament of Roses Parade. LifeLink of Florida sent WINK News an inside look at their pictures that are being made out of flowers.

“The Rose Parade is an amazing event because millions of people are watching the Rose Parade and our inspiring stories will make people think twice about becoming an organ and tissue donor,” said Kathleen Hostert.

The Irizarry family was given the chance to help decorate the photos of their loved ones.

“We will leave the eyebrows blank and shipping them across the country for the families to finish at finishing events across the country,” said Hostert.

The parade starts at 8 a.m. on New Year’s Day. In total, 60 deceased donors will be honored on the float.

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