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Man who died at 95 becomes oldest organ donor in US history

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Posted at 1:07 PM, May 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-12 11:31:17-04

PITTSBURGH, Pa. — A man who recently died at the age of 95 has become the oldest recorded organ donor in U.S. history, according to the Center for Organ Recovery & Education (CORE).

CORE says a woman in her 60s received a liver donation from Cecil F. Lockhart of Welch, West Virginia, and she's doing well.

Lockhart’s family told CORE that he was moved to become an organ donor following the death of his son, Stanley, in 2010. CORE says his son “healed the lives” of 75 people through tissue donation and restored sight to two others through cornea donation.

According to his family, Lockhart was a proud coal miner who worked in West Virginia mines for more than 50 years. He also served as a corporal in the U.S. Army during World War II.

To keep the goodwill going, family told CORE that they asked everyone at Lockhart’s funeral to also register as an organ donor to honor the late veteran’s memory.

An increasing amount of organ donations are actually coming from older Americans.

Since 1988, over 30% of deceased organ donors in the U.S. have been 50 years or older, according to data from the United Network for Organ Sharing. And so far in 2021, CORE says 39% of all U.S. deceased organ donors have been age 50 or older. That’s up more than 8% from just 20 years ago.

CORE says one person can save the lives of eight by donating organs and heal the lives of 75 through tissue donation. Anyone can sign up to be a donor, regardless of age or medical history.