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West Virginian WWII veteran becomes the oldest organ donor in U.S. History

Updated: May. 12, 2021 at 7:24 PM EDT
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MORGANTOWN, W.Va (WDTV) - As someone who fought for our country’s freedom in World War II, a veteran still continues to be a hero for others.

Cecil Lockhart recently passed away, but has given the gift of live as an organ donor, and he made history doing it.

A fighter for our country has now become a fighter to save someone else’s life.

95-year-old Cecil Lockhart, from Welch West Virginia, became the oldest organ donor in U.S. history after he died on May 4, and his decision was not a shock to those who knew him well.

“Does it surprise me? No, that was the kind of guy he was,” Lockhart’s son-in-law, Bill Davis said. “He would give you whatever he could if he could help you in any way shape or form,” he said.

Lockhart’s granddaughter, Cindy Petitte, agreed. She says he was always willing to lend a helping hand.

“Just taking care of my grandmother, taking care of the family, it never stopped,” Petitte said. “He was just a hardworking person and cared about others.”

Lockhart’s daughter, Sharon Lockhart White, expressed that he was also more than giving. “He was just a very loving and kind person,” she said.

Which is why when it came to becoming an organ donor to help someone in need, it was a decision he made based upon someone he loved very much, his son, who passed away and was also an organ donor.

From that moment, Lockhart’s family says he knew it was something he wanted to do too.

“Now that he’s reached the end of his earthly time, he’s still giving and helping people,” Davis said.

“It’s just so amazing that a 95-year-old man, his liver was in that good of condition,” Another granddaughter of Lockhart’s, Stephanie Lanham said.

“He never drank, he never smoked, he was just such a healthy man, and we’re just so proud of him that he decided to be an organ donor, and we’re happy that they were able to use something to save somebody else’s life,” she said.

The gift of life is what holds Lockhart’s family together as they grieve his recent death.

“We know that something in him has helped another life, so he lives on,” Lanham said.

A 62-year-old woman was the recipient of Lockhart’s liver.

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