SGMC Hosts Honor Walk in Tribute of Organ Donor
South Georgia Medical Center physicians and staff recently participated in its first Honor Walk to recognize an organ donor for giving the gift of life. At the December Hospital Authority meeting, the Honor Walk team, consisting of Danielle Fender, Stephanie Mitchell, Brittany Watts, Martha Adams, Toni Quimby, Jonathon Lund, Allie Williams, Megan Carver, Megan Rhoden, Courtney Purvis, Kendra Dasher, Sherri Felkel, Harold Bacon, Cole Burgess, Brian Sayre, and Michelle Burkett(LifeLink) were recognized as SGMC’s Hospital Heroes.
These heroes, in partnership with LifeLink of Georgia, provided direct patient care and surgical support to the organ donor as well as education and counseling services to the family.
An Honor Walk is the breathtaking moment when friends, family and hospital staff line the hallways as the organ or tissue donor is taken from intensive care to the operating room for organ recovery. It is a tribute to honor the decision to become an organ donor and for making it possible for others to live.
“The Honor Walk provides closure and honors the gift of life in the face of tragedy,” said Johnny Ball, Assistant Administrator for Communications & Public Affairs. “Over 200 caregivers and support staff came out just before midnight to participate in SGMC's first Honor Walk. The family was very appreciative. It was a very bittersweet moment.”
In Georgia, LifeLink has held seven honor walks at four other hospitals. SGMC held the eighth honor walk and was the fifth hospital to be involved.
Ball concluded by sharing his appreciation to LifeLink for working with the hospital and the patient’s family to honor the decision of the patient to improve lives through organ and eye donation.
One organ and tissue donor can improve the lives of 75 people. Organs that can be donated for transplantation include the heart, liver, lungs, kidneys, pancreas and intestines. Tissues that can be transplanted include the skin, bone, corneas, and heart valves. Organ and tissue donation does not disfigure the body or interfere with funeral arrangements, including open casket services. The donor’s family does not pay for the costs associated with donation and all major religions approve of organ and tissue donation. In fact, many religions consider donation the ultimate charitable act.
LifeLink of Georgia is the non-profit federally certified organ and tissue recovery agency serving the state of Georgia and two South Carolina counties. Through the efforts of hospital partners, like South Georgia Medical Center, physicians, surgeons, nurses, medical examiners, coroners, volunteers and the true heroes, donor families, LifeLink recovers and equitably distributes organs and tissue for transplantation. LifeLink works with the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) which maintains a national computerized list of more than 114,000 patients awaiting an organ transplant in the United States; over 5,300 of which reside in Georgia.
To register your decision to be an organ, tissue and eye donor visit the Donate Life Georgia Organ and Tissue Donor Registry at www.DonateLifeGeorgia.org today or call 1-866-57-SHARE (74273). You can also say YES to donation when you get or renew your driver license or state identification card through Georgia’s Department of Driver Services. For more information about organ and tissue donation in Georgia visit LifeLink at www.LifeLinkFoundation.org.