“Life is a gift.” We’ve said it so often that, for some of us, the thought has lost a little bit of its meaning. But in the hospital, where we daily confront the loss of life, there are some moments  that serve as compelling reminder of what the gift of life truly means.

So it was on Thursday, August 23, when staff joined together to participate in our first Honor Walk, celebrating the life and spirit of Elizabeth “Libby” Hanzl D’Avignon, who had fallen in her Middlebury home and had been declared brain dead here at UVM Medical Center. She had registered to be an organ donor, and her heart, lungs and kidneys were all transplanted into others, saving four lives.

On Thursday, as staff lined the halls, and with Libby’s family escorting her, she was brought to the OR for her donation.  A simple gesture by staff to come and stand in tribute – but breathtaking as a visual representation of the support and gratitude offered to Libby and her family for her selfless gift. Our thoughts were with Libby, whose tremendous generosity of spirit truly outlived her. That spirit lives on in the memories of those who loved her and in the lives she saved. 

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