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Children's hospital provides powerful tribute to young organ donors with honor walk

"This is a family's hardest day; their selfless decision will give life to others. They deserve this tribute."

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Staff at East Tennessee Children's Hospital are doing all they can to thank families who've made the decision to donate their child's organs after they've passed away.

The hospital posted this video of their first-ever recorder honor walk, hoping those seeing the powerful moment will understand the level of respect and gratitude they have for those parents, as well as the impact their decision will make to help others: 

"It's very difficult," Diana Burdick, the nursing director of medical services at ETCH said. 

Staff members and family silently line the halls as the young organ donor makes their final trip down the hall surrounded by love and support. 

"During the honor walk, it's just silence and respect being there with them," Burdick said. 

Burdick says she knows how hard this can be for a family. She said this is a time to focus on the selflessness of the family and show support. 

"We can hear the families emotions and it's very hard, but we know the families need us," Burdick said. 

She said children at the hospital always need the care of the staff, physically and mentally. When it gets to this point, though, the staff's focus shifts to the family. 

"There's nothing right to say or do, it's just being with that family and for them to know we care about them," she said. 

Burdick hopes that families see how impactful the decision is to donate organs -- saying you are giving another child a chance at life by making this choice. 

"When there is really nothing else to do, it's a way to support them and let them know we care for them," she said. 

This is the first time that hospital officials have recorded an honor walk. They recorded the powerful moment at the family's request.

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