Honor walk held in memory of children who gave gift of life through organ donation

A night of remembrance at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children to honor the lives of the youngest of organ donors and how their gifts live on.

Dozens of family members walk the patient drop-off circle outside the hospital Tuesday evening. It’s symbolic of what happens inside the hospital when a child dies and is being taken to the operating room for organ donation while staff line the hallway in tribute.

"I feel very proud. Selfless. I love my girls," said Honora Magras. She and her husband two of their daughters in a house fire 16 years ago. Felicia was three-and-a-half and died in the fire.

Loved ones walk the Honor Walk at St. Christopher's Hospital for Children.

One-and-a-half-year-old Haley died at the hospital and was able to give another child the gift of life.

"I feel so proud that she was able to live on and donate her beautiful heart and her kidneys to somebody and they were able to live," said Magras.

Like many families gathered, there is still a lot of heartache losing a child.

"I didn’t want any parent or loved one to experience the loss I had just experienced. So, I decided to donate to the Gift of Life so she could live on," said Magras.

A new butterfly garden funded by the J Foundation was unveiled during the ceremony. It’s a place for families and staff to reflect on the lives lost and saved here through organ donation. Families also receive a memory box after donation.

A Gift of Life Memory Box with the recording of a heartbeat in a necklace for loved ones.

"We are doing a heartbeat which we are doing a recording of their heartbeat and it goes on here and the parents came wear it," said Lynn Miles, a PICU nurse of 39 years. She showed us a necklace that’s part of the memory box.

April is National Donate Life month. Hospital officials say there are more than 2,100 children on the national transplant waiting list.

"It could be any number of things. There are chronic illnesses that people live with day to day. There could be a tragic acute event that might bring on the need for an organ. You’re taking somebody at death’s door, they’re so sick and you’re reversing that by giving an organ," said Diana Colonna, Director of Nursing of the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit.

For more information, visit the Gift of Life website.

And FOX 29's Steve Keeley hosted and produced a half hour special on the life-changing impact of becoming an organ donor. You can watch the Ultimate Gift at Fox 29.com and on the Fox Local app.