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Honor Walk | A Hero's Story

  • Date Submitted: Sep 12, 2023
  • Category: Patient Testimonial

Parrish Healthcare had the great privilege to hold an Honor Walk. The solemn sound of Taps echoed through the halls of the Intensive Care Unit. Our nations flag was draped across the bed covering Victor, a veteran of the U.S. Navy. He attained the rank of Lieutenant Commander and retired after 20 years of devoted service.

A team of nurses and doctors maneuvered Victor down the hall while his life was supported with multiple IV drips and portable vital-sign monitors. Care Partners lined the halls with all eyes focused on Victor. Hands covered hearts and tears filled the eyes of all who gathered to honor Victor’s life, and the gift of life that he was about to give others.

Victor’s wife, Tanya, said, “Victor was a very generous and helpful friend to everyone. He spent his life giving to our nation and to others.” Because of this, Tanya made the decision to donate Victor’s organs; she knew that’s what he would want.

Victor was a veteran, a hero in service to our nation and our freedoms, and a hero to the lives he saved and healed through his organ donations. The Honor Walk commemorates and celebrates this profound gift and final act of true heroism.

Because of Victor’s donation, two individuals were saved from tiring dialysis treatments. Another received a second chance at life following liver failure. One recipient took their first deep breath perhaps in many years. Tissue donation will help restore health to approximately 75 people. A world of color and beauty was introduced to persons receiving the gift of sight. Additional research made possible by other donated organs will advance health benefits to thousands.

Participating in the Honor Walk was too painful for Tanya and the rest of the family. Tanya expressed her gratitude to Jessica Manning, communications generalist, for documenting the ceremony with photos and sharing Victor’s story. Jessica had multiple phone calls with Tanya, each one resulting in tears. Tanya said, “Victor valued his service. He spent his life giving to our nation and he left this world giving to others.”

Victor’s journey at PMC began when the apparently healthy 53-year-old went for his daily walk, yet never returned home. Victor was found unresponsive by another walker who called 911. EMS arrived and despite all their efforts Victor remained unresponsive.

Victor’s watch recorded his fall; he was down for almost 90 minutes before being discovered. It’s suspected Victor suffered a heart attack. His story reminds us to be present in every moment, to appreciate every day and to remember that life can change in an instant. Finally, it reminds us of the importance of living our mission Healing Experiences for Everyone All the Time®.