AATB is pleased to announce that tissue recipient, Bill Bourbeau, has been selected to represent AATB as a rider on the 2019 Donate Life Rose Parade Float. Bill was nominated for this opportunity by We are Sharing Hope SC, an AATB-accredited organization based in Charleston, South Carolina.
Bill is a U.S. Marine Corps veteran and former law enforcement officer in both Florida and South Carolina. He received a tissue transplant after he was involved in a serious automobile accident on March 19, 2014.
On that day, Bill and other drivers were stopped by law enforcement officers to allow a funeral procession to turn left into a cemetery. Unfortunately, the driver of another vehicle failed to see him stop and never applied the brakes of her SUV. Her vehicle struck the flatbed trailer at a high rate of speed and launched into the air, landing on the roof of Bill’s truck. This caused the roof of Bill’s truck to partially cave in, trapping him inside. While he was trapped, scalding hot engine liquids from the SUV poured into Bill’s truck and onto him.
These hot liquids caused serious thermal and chemical burns to his right arm. He was ultimately able to crawl out of his truck’s window and was rushed to University Hospital in Augusta, GA where he was initially treated for numerous injuries.
Bill’s burns were later treated at Doctors Hospital, also located in Augusta. He underwent three different tissue graft procedures using donor tissue. These were applied from his right shoulder to below his elbow. Bill is appreciative of his donor’s gift of life through tissue donation.
Bill is an advocate for donation and proudly displays his Donate Life Recipient Pin on his work jacket lapel, which sparks conversations about the gift of life. His wife, Patti, is the SCDMV Branch Manager in North Augusta, SC. She frequently shares their personal story at work with coworkers and customers. Bill & Patti are the parents of two daughters. Patti and their daughter Kourtney also both volunteer with Sharing Hope SC and Donate Life SC.