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WWII veteran, 95, becomes oldest organ donor in US history

Cecil Lockhart, 95, was a coal miner in West Virginia for more than 50 years and served in the...
Cecil Lockhart, 95, was a coal miner in West Virginia for more than 50 years and served in the Army during World War II. After his May 4 death, a woman in her 60s received his liver, making him the oldest organ donor in U.S. history.(Source: CORE/Lockhart Family via CNN)
Published: May. 15, 2021 at 6:39 PM HST
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(Gray News) - A 95-year-old man from West Virginia became the oldest organ donor in United States history after his death in early May. The transplant recipient, a woman in her 60s, is doing well.

The liver donor was 95-year-old Cecil Lockhart, who died May 4. His family says Lockhart was moved to become an organ donor after the 2010 death of his son, Stanley, according to the Center for Organ Recovery & Education. Stanley helped 77 people through tissue and cornea donation.

“When my brother was a donor after he passed away a few years ago, it helped my dad to heal, and today, knowing his life is continuing through others really is helping us through our grief, too,” said Lockhart’s daughter, Sharon White.

Lockhart was a coal miner in West Virginia for more than 50 years and served in the Army during World War II. He is survived by White; Helen Cline Lockhart, his wife of 75 years; his son, Brian Lockhart; three grandchildren and six great-grandchildren, according to CORE.

At Lockhart’s funeral, the family asked everyone to register as an organ donor to honor his memory.

“He was a generous person when he was alive, and we are filled with pride and hope knowing that, even after a long, happy life, he is able to continue that legacy of generosity,” White said.

Chief Medical Officer David Klassen of the United Network for Organ Sharing says no one is too old or too young to become an organ donor. Potential donors are evaluated on a case-by-case basis at the time of their death.

The previous record for the oldest donor was a 93-year-old, CNN reports.

More than 107,000 Americans are waiting for a life-saving organ transplant, according to CORE, and every 10 minutes, someone is added to the national transplant waiting list.

One person can save up to eight lives through organ donation.

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