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98-year-old man becomes oldest organ donor in the US

Orville Duane Allen was a war veteran from Missouri who dedicated his life to service.
Oldest organ donor
Posted at 7:22 AM, Jun 13, 2024

A 98-year-old war veteran from Missouri has become the oldest organ donor ever in the U.S.

After a life of service, Orville Duane Allen and his family made the final act to save someone’s life by donating his liver.

“Our dad was beloved by his family, his students, and the soldiers he led because he was such a caring man who brought out the best in others,” said Allen’s daughter Linda Mitchelle, in a press release.

“We are grateful to Mid-America Transplant and St. Francis Medical Center for the opportunity to continue his impact through organ donation – a decision I know he would have made without hesitation,” she said.

Allen’s liver helped save a 72-year-old woman. The transplant happened in Missouri on May 31.

CEO and president Kevin Lee of Mid-America Transplant, a nonprofit organization based in St. Louis, said the successful procedure is a testament that being an organ donor is helpful at any age.

“Mr. Allen was truly a hero, and it is an honor and a privilege to be part of his legacy,” Lee said in a press release. “We hope his final act of kindness as a donor hero inspires others, regardless of age, to say yes to lifesaving organ and tissue donation.”

Allen was a veteran of both World War II, where he served as a pilot, and the Korean War.

He served 27 years in the U.S. Army Reserve, and retired as a lieutenant colonel.

Allen also spent four decades teaching vocational agriculture at Neelyville High School in Missouri, which is his alma mater.

He was married for 70 years to his late wife Alice Geraldine Allen, with whom he shared three children, three grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.