Teary-eyed moment dying organ donor is given "walk of respect" by hospital staff, family and friends
As the patient, whose identity hasn't been disclosed out of respect, made his way on the hospital bed, the tearful staff ceased operations to stand in silence.
In a heartbreaking moment, a dying man was given the final farewell by family, friends and medical staff at St Luke's Hospital in Meridian, Idaho in the most touching way. The 53-year-old patient received the 'walk of respect' as the staff wheeled him out in the corridor; he chose to donate his organs after his death. As the patient, whose identity hasn't been disclosed out of respect, made his way on the hospital bed, the tearful staff ceased operations to stand in silence and were joined by dozens of other people present in the corridor.
The man was taken away from the intensive care unit, where had been kept alive with life support, to the operating room. After he died, surgeons removed his donated organs, as per reports. His family didn't wish to disclose his details but revealed that the man allowed his last moments to be filmed. It's still not clear what illness he was suffering or what all organs will be donated.
One of the hospital medic staff recorded this teary-eyed moment on September 27 at 11.45 am, and the video was published by the Anita Kissee, the hospital's PR manager. "Emotional moment at @stlukeshealth #MyMeridian. Walk of Respect: Staff at hospital stop to line halls of ICU to show respect for the 2nd patient this week providing the life-saving gift of #organdonation. #Donatelife Thank you to family for allowing us to honor him and share," she captioned her post on Twitter.
"I was moved by the number of people who made a point to be there," Kissee recalled and added: "There were not a lot of dry eyes – I too was wiping my tears. What a privilege to be invited to be there in that moving moment."
Speaking to the local Idaho Statesman, Kissee said: "It's just a way we can honor the family who has made a difficult decision. The family said it was just one of the most special things."
The director of the intensive care unit, Deb Compton, told local TV station KIVI-TV: "It was a very sad situation. The patient had been in the unit for a while, and the team had bonded with the family, and we felt absolutely terrible and wanted to do something for that family member to support them."
This was the second time in the week that the hospital staff had given the 'walk of respect' to an organ donor. Explaining the emotional ritual, Compton said: "We lined the hallways, and everyone silently stands in support for that family as they take the patient from the ICU to the operating room for that last transport to secure those organs for donation. It helped with the grieving process from our perspective and then lastly the benefit is that it really shines a light on organ donation."
The donated organs were sent deposited with Pacific Northwest Transplant Bank, Faithwire reported.
The video which has gone viral across social media is being hailed as a positive gesture and several other hospitals including Doernbecher Children's Hospital in Portland, Oregon, have expressed their desire to pay tribute to patients in the same way in future, Daily Mail reported.
Organ donation is when a person willfully allows their organs to be legally removed when they are still alive or after their death, in order to pass it on to someone in dire need. More than 114,000 people in the US (alone) are on the waiting list for organ donation; however, only 0.3 percent of them die in a way, where their organs can be used for donation. Due to strict medical policies, an organ can only be donated if the donor has died in the hospital and it must be removed immediately before the tissues start deteriorating.
In a similar gesture, an Australian man was given the 'bow of respect' in China by doctors and surgeons present in the operating room. The patient gave his consent to donate his kidneys, liver and the corneas. 26-year-old Philip Hancock's organs were then used in life-changing operations for Chinese patients, reported Daily Mail.