The world's first organ donor, Ronald Herrick died due to a heart problem at a rehabilitation center in Maine, United States. He was 79 years of age.
Herrick became the first ever organ donor on December 23 1954 when he donated one of his kidneys to his identical twin brother, Richard, opening up a new branch in the field of surgery. The transplant allowed Richard to live for eight more years while lead surgeon Dr Joseph Murray went on to win the Nobel Prize.
AdvertisementHerrick was 23 years of age when he donated his kidney to his brother and speaking on the 50th anniversary of the transplant, he revealed that he was nervous before the surgery.
"It was just one of those things that was kind of out of this world, I thought. It was something that hadn't been done before, you knew nothing about it. So I thought about it a long time. My stomach was churning many a morning going to school", he said on the National Public Radio in 2004.
Herrick is survived by his wife, Cynthia, a sister, Virginia Griffin of Rutland and an older brother Van of Barrington, R.I.