Heart Transplant Recipient to Walk in Rose Parade, Honors Donor 
Nov 29, 2023
Ashley Boarman
A group of former patients and surgeons gather together for a picture with roses.

(Left to Right) Dr. Ranjan Ray, Leslie Barratt, Ted Jung, Nancy Jung, Dr. Brett Sheridan at Sutter’s CPMC | Nov. 2023

San Francisco resident Ted Jung was admitted to Sutter’s California Pacific Medical Center with heart failure in 2019. Doctors told him he’d need a transplant to live. After waiting 72 days, Jung was notified that a match was found. His organ donor, Joseph “Joe” Barratt, 18, had been struck by a hit-and-run driver while walking home from the library. Though he received medical treatment at John Muir Health, his injuries were determined to be non-survivable.

Out of unimaginable tragedy came an opportunity for life. As it turned out, Barratt had recently visited the DMV and made the decision to become an organ donor. On February 14, 2020, National Donor Day, Jung’s life-saving transplant was made at Sutter’s CPMC.

Three years later, Jung, who is 65, and Barratt have been selected as 2024 honorees for the 2024 Donate Life Rose Parade® Float. At a send-off event this month, Jung, surrounded by his family, the Barratt family, representatives from Donor Network West, Sutter’s CPMC and John Muir Health, gathered to celebrate Barratt’s life and to encourage people to register to become organ donors.

Watch the KRON-4 story: Teen who donated his heart to be honored at Rose Parade

Touching Reunion

Through organ donation and transplantation Barratt was able to give the gift of life to four others. “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,” said his mother, Leslie Barratt, speaking to event attendees.

The Jung and Barratt families are now interconnected in a way neither of them thought possible. Jung feels fortunate to have had a second chance at life. “I now have two birthdays and will never forget either,” he says.

Last year, organ procurement organizations and transplant hospitals worked to perform a record 3,817 heart transplants across the U.S. According to UNOS, the United Network for Organ Sharing, rapidly-evolving perfusion technology is allowing more hearts to be transplanted. Perfusion allows organs to remain viable for longer periods outside the body; this is important for organs such as hearts and lungs, which have shorter windows of viability compared to kidneys.

“Sutter Health provides life-saving care for individuals like Ted who have a failing heart,” said Dr. Brett Sheridan, cardiothoracic surgeon at CPMC. “We’re so proud to deliver state-of-the-art therapeutics – whether medical management, support with mechanical circulatory support devices or heart transplant – that allow patients to continue living and living well.”

Finishing Touches on Float Artwork

During the Rose Parade send-off, the Barratt family was presented with a floragraph portrait of Joe, which will be fixed atop of the float on New Year’s Day. Floragraphs are artistic portraits created by using spices, seeds, and other organic materials to cover a digitized photograph of the individual. The final image is astonishingly realistic, recognizable and a fitting memorial to organ donors everywhere.

An Asian man and Caucasian woman hold a floragraph portrait of the woman's organ donor son.

Ted Jung and Leslie Barratt hold the completed florograph portrait of organ donor Joseph Barrett. Barrett’s image, made of all organic materials, will be placed on the Donate Life Float during the 135th Rose Parade on New Year’s Day.

This year’s 2024 Donate Life Float theme is “Woven Together: The Dance of Life”. It will showcase the culture of the Hopi, native to the American Southwest. The Donate Life Float is highly anticipated as the 2023 design and float received the Tournament of Roses Sweepstakes Award, the highest Tournament of Roses honor.

Donor Network West has helped facilitate the recovery of every life-saving organ in Northern California and Northern Nevada for the past 35 years. For decades, Sutter’s CPMC has remained a close partner as a leading transplant center in Northern California.

“One family’s decision to donate gave Ted and his family the gift of time, life and hope. We are happy to have been a part of their journey thanks to the power of organ donation,” says Janice Whaley, president and CEO of Donor Network West.

Sutter’s CPMC is one of the largest not-for-profit medical centers in California, operating four campuses throughout San Francisco. Designated as a comprehensive transplant center, Sutter’s CPMC transplant teams perform high-quality heart, liver, kidney and pancreas transplants with excellent patient outcomes.

Currently, there are more than 23,000 people awaiting a life-saving organ transplant in California, and more than 100,000 nationally. One organ donor can save the lives of up to eight people and a tissue donor can heal more than 75 others. For more information about organ and tissue donation, visit www.donornetworkwest.org/about-donation/.

Two doctors speak with a former patient at a transplant event

CPMC Drs. Ranjan Ray and Brett Sheridan speak with heart transplant recipient Ted Jung

A colorful rendering of a parade float for the 2024 Rose Parade

Rendering of the Donate Life Float, which will appear in Pasadena, Calif., on New Year’s Day for the 135th Rose Parade.

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