WELCH, W. Va. (CBS News) — Cecil Lockhart, a 95-year-old, became the oldest organ donor in United States history after he died last week. Lockhart, of Welch, West Virginia died on May 4, and his liver was donated to a woman in her sixties, CBS Pittsburgh reports.
The Center for Organ Recovery & Education (CORE) President and CEO Susan Stuart said Monday that CORE is “incredibly proud to have been able to make this historic organ donation possible. This landmark in the field of transplantation is just another example of CORE’s pioneering legacy and commitment to innovation which, over the last 40 years, has given 6,000 people in the United States the opportunity to save more than 15,000 others as organ donors.”
Lockhart’s family said he chose to become a donor over 10 years ago after his son Stanley passed away and helped heal 75 people through tissue and cornea donations.
Cecil is survived by his wife of 75 years, Helen. He’s also survived by his daughter, Sharon White and son Brian Lockhart, in addition to grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
“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,” Cecil’s daughter, Sharon White, said. “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.”