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Organ Donor
Age 20 ~ Lafayette, LA
Donated on 4/7/00
at Lafayette General Medical Center,
Lafayette, LA

Honored by Louisiana Organ Procurement Agency

Ryan Robert Viator was a loving and tenderhearted young man with a great spirit of adventure and belief in staying healthy. At the age of 20, he was the proud owner of a local health club that inspired others to live healthy lifestyles. On April 7, 2000, Ryan's life ended, but three others were able to live thanks to the donation of Ryan's liver and kidneys. Ryan was never able to realize two of his dreams: flying in a fighter jet and visiting California. Donation made both possible, as one of his recipients is a retired Air Force pilot and his image will adorn the Donate Life float in the Rose Parade.

Ryan's Story

Ryan Robert Viator came into the world on August 30, 1979, an "extraordinary" blonde-haired, hazel-eyed little boy. He grew up to be loving and tenderhearted and was always willing to give to others. Ryan's deep laugh was contagious to all who came into contact with him.

Ryan was adventurous, enjoying the outdoors and riding dirt bikes and Harleys. He was very mindful of staying healthy and at age 20, was the proud owner of a local health club that inspired others to live healthy lifestyles.

April 7, 2000 began like any other Louisiana day for the Viator family. Ryan's mother, Shawnee Delahoussaye, enjoyed a great conversation with him over the phone. A few hours later, his young life would end. Amidst their incredible tragedy, Ryan's family reached beyond their grief and asked about organ donation. Ryan's liver and kidneys saved the lives of three people.

Almost thirteen years later, Ryan's life continues to make an impact on his community. Ryan's family has dedicated their lives to ensuring the public is better informed about the importance of organ and tissue donation. "Each year, we partner with LOPA (Louisiana Organ Procurement Agency) as a major sponsor for LOPA's two largest fundraisers," Shawnee remarked.

She went on to talk about Ryan's sense of adventures and his final dreams. "He had many 'journeys of the heart,'" she noted. "There were two things in life he dreamed of doing but never had the chance to accomplish: flying in a fighter jet and visiting California. We were excited to find out one of Ryan's recipients is a retired Air Force pilot. We feel like Ryan's dream has come true by giving new life to this recipient and flying through him. Ryan's second dream will become a reality on January 1, 2013, when the face of our blonde haired, green-eyed hero will be on display for the entire world to see in Pasadena, California."