Honor Walk

The walk that a donor family takes from the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) to the Operating Room (OR) has been called the “loneliest walk” by families. It is the final walk that they will take as a family as the patient is moved from their room to the Operating Room to become an organ donor.  At CDT we are committed to doing as much as we can to not make families feel alone, but to feel supported in knowing that their loved one’s heroic last act will leave a lifesaving legacy. Hospitals can participate in this by collaborating with CDT to facilitate a “Honor Walk.” Here are important facts about the initiative:

The Honor Walk is a simple concept that shows donor families that they are not alone
“Libby’s honor walk was an incredibly powerful beginning to the healing process and coming to terms with losing my Libby.  The aura of all of those wonderful people lining the hallways seemed to come together into something you could actually, physically feel.”- Donor family member

An Honor Walk allows hospital staff the opportunity to visibly support donor families
Staff are invited to come and silently line the pathway from the ICU to the OR to pay their respects to the donor and lend support to the family during their journey.

Participation is completely voluntary for both families and staff members

Families are required to provide special consent before an Honor Walk can occur
Special consent is required due to the fact that when Honor Walks occur we can no longer guarantee protection of the patient and family’s privacy

Hospital staff members are asked to be present in the moment
Staff are forbidden from taking photos our video

Honor Walks not only support donor families but they are a symbol of unity and compassion

You can facilitate an Honor Walk at YOUR hospital–contact CDT today!
Across the country, hospitals and organ procurement organizations (OPOs) are coming together to offer honor walks to their donor families.  We at CDT are committed to working with our hospital partners to ensure that this tribute becomes an option for all of our donor families. Please feel free to contact us if you would like more information about honor walks or other resources that we provide for our donor families.  jenniferdemaroney@cdtny.org


Hospital Staff Quotes About Their Honor Walk Experience

“I feel honored and humbled to have been part of this experience.” – Social Work

“… this was so uplifting and really speaks to us as an organization.  Acts of kindness like this are what bring me to work every day!”- Hospital leadership

“It’s wonderful to find that there are still many things that can bring us all together for the common good of humankind.”- Nursing staff