DALLAS (AP) — Juanita Smallwood Osborne, who became one of the first living organ donors when she gave a kidney to her ailing son in the mid-1960s, has died. She was 88.
Osborne died Thursday in Ashland, Ky., of complications from aspiration pneumonia, said her son Burl Osborne, a former managing editor and chairman of The Associated Press and publisher emeritus of The Dallas Morning News.
Juanita Osborne donated her kidney in 1966, a time in which most successful organ transplants had been performed primarily between identical twins, her son said. The risks of unsuccessful surgery were high, but Burl Osborne was in end-stage renal disease.
"I know that it was early enough that the odds were not high," Osborne told The Dallas Morning News. "The greatest fear I had was that something would happen to her remaining kidney."
Juanita Osborne's kidney continued to function until her death, he said.
She was married for 47 years to Oliver Osborne, who died in 1983. Besides Burl, she was survived by sons David and Richard, both of Ashland; six grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.
A memorial service was scheduled for Saturday. The family requested memorial contributions be made to the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center's Thomas E. Starzl Transplantation Institute.
Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.