A video shows the touching moment more than 100 hospital employees filled the halls to pay tribute to a Pennsylvania nurse who donated her organs before she passed away.
Mary Desin, 58, died May 31 after suffering a brain aneurysm.
Desin worked for 39 years as a nurse at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center’s Hamot hospital in Erie and has continued to save patients’ lives after her death as an organ donor.
More than 100 hospital employees lined the corridors of the hospital to honor her as Desin’s family wheeled the nurse on her hospital bed to the operating room where her liver and kidneys were donated.
Mary’s son, Matthew James Desin, told Good Morning America: “It was extremely emotional. Most everybody was crying. People I didn’t even know came up to me during the time and said how much they loved her and she helped them get further in their career.”
“I expected maybe 20 people from her times as an OR nurse and her current position to be there. I didn’t expect over 100 people to be impacted by her loss,” he said.
Donny McDowell, a senior professional staff nurse and one of Desin’s friends, said she was incredibly moved by her and her donation.
He said, “What Mary was doing was very brave. [It was incredible] to see the lives that would be changed because of Mary’s gift.”
“The thing about Mary that I learned the most is that you always give and you keep on giving a little bit more,” McDowell added.
During her her 30-year tenure, Desin had many different roles at UPMC Hamot, most recently working as an admissions nurse.
In a post on Facebook, the hospital said: “She donated her organs to continue to help save lives, even in her passing. We had a walk for her, hallways lined with more people than I could have counted to see her off.
From now on, those lights will not only be turned on when someone RECEIVES an organ, but also when someone donates, as well.
It was a very emotional day yesterday, and Mary, we will never forget you or the impact you made throughout your career!.”
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