Jacksonville, FL - On Tuesday, staff members at Memorial Hospital silently looked on as an organ donor was moved from the intensive care unit to the operating room.
The tribute was the hospitals first time to celebrate the life of an organ donor by means known as an Honor Walk. More than 100 hospital employees including physicians, nurses, support staff and volunteers all lined the hallway to pay their respects and to honor an individual who was about to provide life to others.
The idea to have an Honor Walk came about from Brenda Benson, Memorial Hospital's Director of Trauma Services who wanted to find a way both now and in the future to support organ donors and their families.
"I wanted to implement the Honor Walk at Memorial Hospital to show respect for the person that decides to make other people's lives better with their decision to be an organ donor," said Brenda. "And on Tuesday, we had the opportunity to do just that and to honor an individual that chose to be an organ donor. By his life ending, he was able to be a hero and save three lives in the community with his organs."
"It was an amazing moment on Tuesday," said Brad Talbert, Memorial's Chief Executive Officer. "I've had a number of staff members tell me how impactful it was for them. In fact one person said, 'I was proud, sad and happy all at one time as well as respectful,' relating it to their own family experience as a recipient of an organ donation."
The hospital also flies a dedicated 'Donate Life' flag under the State of Florida flag in front of the hospital whenever such a procedure is underway as another means to honor the donor and create greater awareness in the community about the importance of organ donation.