107-Year-Old Woman Donates Corneas to Younger Patient

Good News

A 107-year-old Scottish woman was able to save the sight of a younger patient by donating her corneas, even after her death. The woman, who is currently unnamed, recently passed away. However despite her age, her corneas were still intact and able to be given to someone else. Doctors in Scotland say that the woman is now the oldest organ donor in the country, with the previous record being set by a 106-year-old eye donor. [1]

The National Health Service (NHS), which provides public healthcare in the United Kingdom, has recently launched a campaign entitled “We Need Everybody” to increase awareness of organ donation at any age. Many people incorrectly assume that just because they are older, they are incapable of donating functioning organs, however, the NHS aims to help refute the claim and sign up every eligible person for donation.

Healthy organs can live well past what people might consider an expiration date. Those behind the “We Need Everybody” campaign state that they have transplanted kidneys from patients as old as 80 and that these kidneys work in patients of any age. In fact, they state that 80-year-old kidneys can function just as well as kidneys from a 20-year-old patient. [2]

Statistically, 93 percent of corneal transplants still function after one year, so it is expected that this transplant from the 107-year-old woman will still continue to benefit the patient for years to come. In fact, most organ transplants continue to function many years after the transplant, with 74 percent of organs still working up to five years later.

The “We Need Everybody” campaign urges everyone, regardless of circumstances, to sign up to be an organ donor, as doctors can deduce after death if organs are usable or not. It is better to sign up and have your organ rejected at the time of death than to not sign up at all and not have the potential to save a life.

The initiative hopes to simultaneously dispel myths about age and organ transplantation, and also reduce the risk of death of those waiting on transplants of vital organs. Because the wait for a transplant that matches a patients’ body is often so long, many people become increasingly ill or even die while waiting for their much-needed organ.

In some cases, it can take a few years in order to receive the transplant. Transplants can be done up to 24 hours post-mortem.


[1] Evening Time

[2] Tech Times