Losing a loved one is not easy for family members. Making the choice to have a loved one become an organ donor, however, leaves behind a legacy of lifesaving generosity. Each organ has the potential to restore health and extend the lives of others who are in need. To honor the family and patient for their selfless gift, the Critical Care and Pediatric UBCs created the Hero in the House Walk of Honor.
The walk of honor was one of the many new ideas the UBC groups were working on to recognize patients and their families for choosing organ donation. When a pediatric patient's family made the choice for their child to become an organ donor, Gretchen, Colleen, and Amy spoke with the donor family representative to see if the family would approve of the hospital providing a walk of honor for their son. Once approval was given, these amazing nurse leaders quickly worked to inform all the staff at FMC about the walk and asked them to participate.
The remarkable thing about this Hero Walk, was that prior to this moment it had only been a discussion within the UBC groups. No other departments knew about the program or how they would be able to contribute. Through word of mouth, emails, and rounding in departments, the word was spread about the walk of honor. The group was concerned that because this idea had not been formally introduced to the organization that participation would be low. Working together, they notified almost every department in the hospital about what was going to occur. The worry quickly disappeared as over 240 staff members started to line the hall to the operating room. Even staff from the Flagstaff Police department and Guardian caught word and came to participate. Staff members came in on their day off to pay their respects to this patient and family.
The compassionate outpour from our staff demonstrates their desire to make meaningful connections as well as their ability to do the unexpected and exceed our expectations. So many individuals were touched that day, even to the point of becoming organ donors themselves.
The Hero in the House Walk of Honor is a breathtaking moment when friends, family and hospital staff line the halls as a hero, who chose to be an organ donor, makes their way to save lives. Thank you to Colleen, Amy, and Gretchen for organizing our very first walk of honor!!