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Vegas teen's selfless act inspires others to be organ donors

Posted at 6:30 PM, May 23, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-23 23:09:39-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — After the video of an honor walk for 18-year-old Michael Sigler went viral Wednesday, the Nevada Donor Network said it's been receiving calls and messages online from people asking how to become an organ donor.

The video, which was shared by UMC Hospital Wednesday, showed UMC staff and first responders standing shoulder to shoulder along the hallway as Sigler's family, surgeons and nurses walked him toward the operating room.

RELATED: UMC staff line hallways as 18-year-old organ donor escorted to operating room

Sigler was riding a motorcycle when he was hit and killed by a car last Friday. He sustained serious head injuries and remained on life support until yesterday.

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The honor walk was a first for UMC, coordinated by UMC's Chief Experience Officer Danita Cohen at the request of Sigler's family. Cohen said after the initial announcement went out to staff, the response from staff was overwhelming.

"We had people coming in on their days off," Cohen said. "We had people staying after shift, coming in before shift. People were lining up a half hour before we knew we were going to being the walk. Not only physicians and nurses but everybody who has a hand in a patient's care were lining the hallways shoulder to shoulder. It was a neat moment for us here at UMC."

What started as a way to simply honor Michael's life has now given his legacy a ripple effect.

"For his family to experience this on camera may have been very tough for them to do, but I can tell you an infinite amount of lives will be saved and healed because of their decision to do so," said Christina Hernandez, of Nevada Donor Network.

Hernandez said the video has inspired people to call and message the organization online, asking how they can register to be organ donors.

It's an outcome Cohen couldn't have predicted but was grateful for it.

"Michael didn't just help nine people yesterday, or nine families yesterday. Now his legacy continues, all the people who today are registering to become an organ donor or talking to their own families about their own wishes, his legacy will live on," said Cohen.

You can become an organ donor by checking "yes" when you're applying for or renewing an ID at the DMV. You can register online through the Nevada Donor Network website or mail a registration form to their office.