Louisville boy's precious gift recognized in Rose Parade - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Louisville boy's precious gift recognized in Rose Parade

Posted: Updated:
A child is being honored after saving three lives through organ donation. A child is being honored after saving three lives through organ donation.
Shannon Adkins Shannon Adkins
A letter written to the Adkins by an 8-year-old who received his liver. A letter written to the Adkins by an 8-year-old who received his liver.
Scott Adkins Scott Adkins
Keegan Adkins Keegan Adkins

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The accidental drowning of 6-year-old Keegan Adkins, who was swimming at Woodhaven County Club, shook the community in 2011. For his family, the holidays continue to be difficult, but this year is a little brighter thanks to a special honor for Keegan. 

"Very inquisitive, he had to know everything," Shannon Adkins said of her son.

Keegan was smart, energetic and giving. After his death he continued to give through organ donation.

"I'm running and playing now and I'm no longer sick I'm healthy," said Shannon as she read from a letter an 8-year-old girl had written who received a liver transplant. The letter ended, "It was the best day of my life when I know it was the hardest day of your life."

Two other people are also alive thanks to the donation of Keegan's organs.

"After Keegan was pronounced," Shannon remembered, "Something hit me as I was snuggling him in his bed and I said something about his beautiful blue eyes and said I wish that all kids and all people could see the world the way he did."

Shannon and husband Scott called Kentucky Organ Donor Affiliates, KODA.

That precious gift is now being recognized on a national stage. KODA Community Outreach Coordinator Caitlin Wills explained, "The float is always in the Rose Bowl Parade." 

The Adkins were chosen to help represent the Donate Life Rose Parade Float on New Year's Day. Shannon and Scott will join 81 other families and will help create Keegan's Floragraph.

"It should be good for us mentally," Scott said, "Spending time with people who really do know how it feels to lose somebody at a young age." For Scott and Shannon it's their second loss of a child.

Scott said, "My other son Cory was killed in a motor vehicle accident in North Carolina at Camp Lejeune, he was a Marine."

Scott said Cory had signed up to donate his organs, but blunt force trauma didn't allow it. 

Cory and Keegan had a true bond, a bond that will be remembered this holiday. 

"To go somewhere and have that little man honored and remembered by so many people," Shannon said, "It's perfect timing for us, perfect timing for us."

The Adkins leave next week to help put together the Floragraph of Keegan using flowers and other natural materials. It will be shipped to Louisville and will be on public display December 19 at the Kosair Children's Hospital lobby and on December 20. It will then move to the Kosair Charities building on Eastern Parkway from 4 to 8 PM before being flown back to California for the parade.

Copyright 2013 WAVE 3 News. All rights reserved.