DES MOINES, Iowa - A powerful video shows how an accident victim, in death, is giving life to others.
It’s a moment called the "Honor Walk," where friends and family line the halls of the hospital before an organ donor is taken past them into the operating room.
This time, 22-year-old Austin Gainuss was the one being honored. His donations will save the lives of up to eight people, and his tissue donations could impact the lives of hundreds more.
Gainuss was seriously hurt in a car crash Saturday night when a truck driven by 37-year-old Travis Gonzalez rear ended his car. His passenger, 24-year-old Joshua Cox, died after the accident Saturday. Charges are pending against Gonzales.
Gainuss was taken off of life support on Tuesday. He was a Navy veteran, so members of the Navy also lined the halls during the Honor Walk commemorating the life-changing gift he was giving to so many.
Kaylie Hoyle of the Iowa Donor Network says more and more hospitals are beginning to do honor walks.
“The gift the donor and the donor family give is just the most precious gift that anyone can give, and it’s the gift of life. The Honor Walk is a small but beautiful way to not only honor the loved one and who they are but also pay tribute to the amazing legacy they're about to leave” Hoyle told WHO.
Hoyle says that Iowa has one of the highest numbers of registered organ donors in the country with nearly 75% of Iowans registered. Methodist, where the surgery was performed, started doing honor walks last year.