Young North Texas Organ Donor Remembered At Rose Parade

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NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – There was a heartbreaking and heartwarming experience Thursday for a North Texas family. They were able to attend the Rose Bowl Parade in Pasadena, California to see their child and sibling remembered.

Three weeks ago CBS 11 News introduced you to the Johnston family. They lost their eight-year-old son, Dakota, to an undiagnosed brain condition in 2008, but his organs helped save the lives of five other people.

The Colleyville funeral home that handled Dakota Johnston’s burial brought the family back December 10 to put the final touches on a floral portrait honoring the little boy, before they sent it off to be part of a float touting organ donation in the Rose Bowl Parade.

Thursday the Johnston’s and their five-year-old twins were there. They emailed CBS 11 pictures of the float called Never-Ending Story, featuring Dakota’s image and those of dozens of other organ donors.

Rose Parade float featuring picture of North Texan Dakota Johnston. The 8-year-old from an undiagnosed brain condition in 2008, but his organs helped save the lives of five people.  (credit: CBSDFW.COM)

Rose Parade float featuring picture of North Texan Dakota Johnston. The 8-year-old from an undiagnosed brain condition in 2008, but his organs helped save the lives of five people. (credit: CBSDFW.COM)

The Johnston’s also got to watch the parade with other donor families and see an organization called, Donate Life honor their late son’s memory in a way that could lead more families to save more lives.

Dakota’s mother, Kelly, says her young son was always a giver and if he’d been aware he’d be able to save other people’s lives by donating his organs, he would have wanted to do that.

(©2015 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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