Carlton was a very special person. This retired Texas Teacher and father never stopped showing his family the importance of giving. Nine days before his 93rd birthday, Carlton became an organ donor. His wife and children thoughtfully donated his liver after he died from a brain hemorrhage. Because of this, a 69-year-old woman is alive after a liver transplant due to end-stage liver disease. At the time of his donation, Carlton was the oldest organ donor on record, and this also promoted the message that age is not a barrier to sharing the gift of life.
That message was heard by Cecil F. Lockhart, a World War II veteran and retired coal miner. His service to the community continued until his death at the age of 95 when he donated his liver to a 62-year-old woman. Cecil was also inspired because his son saved the lives of 75 people when he donated his organs following an untimely death. As of 2022, Cecil is officially the oldest recorded organ donor in U.S. history.
Organ donation can happen at any age. Making the choice to donate organs is one of the most generous gifts you can give. It is a literal gift of life. There is no age limit for donation or to sign-up to be a donor. In 2021, one third of all people who donated organs was over the age of 50. Advanced medical knowledge and technology has made this possible. In 2015, only one in fourteen donated organs were from people 65 or older.
Some medical professionals were apprehensive to embrace the idea of older organ donations as an option to an overall organ shortage. Important health studies have proven this apprehension unnecessary. As of 2020, over 92,000 were on a waiting list for a kidney transplant. A recent medical study showed that recipients of kidneys from donors over the age of 70 had an 88-90% survival rate after five years. This is causing many health centers with strict age standards for acceptable organ donations to think twice before turning down organ donations from an older adult.
Organ donation from infant to senior citizen is an incredible gift. It sends an incredible message, and it can result in several incredible lives being saved. You can sign up to be an organ donor at https://www.organdonor.gov/sign-up.
Organ donation is not the only way you can make an impact. If organ donation is not a viable option for you or your loved one, consider whole body donation to a local medical education institution on your area. Donating your body furthers research knowledge and improves technology. It is a great way to show your family how to pay it forward and leave an important legacy. Donating your body is a compassionate and lower cost alternative to traditional services.
The caring and knowledge professionals at St. Louis Body Donation are ready to provide you with more information about body donation or body donation transportation. We applaud your commitment to philanthropy and work with you every step of the way. Call our team in St. Louis at 314-252-0462, and we’ll walk you through the process and answer your questions.