'Here is a Miracle About to Happen': Honor Walk Will Pay Tribute to Organ Donors

​The announcement will come over the intercom: "Facilities Alert: Honor Walk in 15 minutes." 
 
That's the cue for Benefis employees and providers to gather in the Intensive Care Unit (Floor 5 of the South Tower) to pay their respects to a patient and family as they make the selfless gift of organ donation.
 
Two weeks ago, multiple Benefis staff members and providers gathered for the first Honor Walk here. The patient's family "was in awe." 
 
"We treat them with the highest respect, and it's an emotional moment," said Kevin Lan​gkiet, director for Emergency and Critical Care Services. "It humbles you, and that is the best part. Here is a miracle about to happen."
 
Staff lines the halls of the ICU as the patient and family go from the ICU room to the elevator to the OR. At the elevator door, someone makes remarks recognizing the transition moment, honoring the patient, and acknowledging the lives that will be improved through this organ donation. Even in death, this person chose to help others, people they had never met.
 
We anticipate this ritual will happen six or seven times a year, and it will be limited to patients making major organ donations.
 
As Patty Vielle, manager of the ICU, and Brandi Cornwell, manager of the Operating Room and Endoscopy Laboratory, have advanced our organ donation program, this is the next step.
 
This video from Valley Children's Healthcare in Madera, Calif., shows an Honor Walk for a 10-year-old donor named Francine, who died from a car wreck. She saved at least four lives; three children received her heart and kidneys, and a 40-year-old woman received her pancreas.