A 107-year-old woman who passed away has become the oldest organ donor ever in the history of Scotland.

According to The Evening Times, when the unidentified woman was alive, she had opted to donate her corneas after her death.

When it happened, surgeons were able to remove the corneas of the old woman then successfully transplanted them to restore the sight of another patient.

Corneal Transplants

Experts say corneal transplants are the most successful type of sight-saving operation, with approximately 93 percent of the transplants functioning after a year.

After five years, about 74 percent of the corneal transplants still function, and many of the transplants will continue on for years after the five-year mark.

Corneas can be donated up to 24 hours after a patient passes away.

'We Need Everybody' Organ Donation Campaign

Lesley Hogan, an official from the National Health Service Blood and Transplant (NHSBT), says the organ donation had taken place as she went to the launch of a TV advertisement that aims to drive up organ donor rates.

Known as "We Need Everybody," the organ donation campaign aims to dispel some myths surrounding organ transplantation.

One of those myths is that old age is a hindrance to the act of donating.

In fact, kidneys, which are the organs most needed all over the world because of kidney failure from high blood pressure or diabetes, have been transplanted from donors who are 80 years old.

Hogan says the We Need Everybody campaign is the first of its kind that will really appeal to everyone. She says the campaign is looking at different sectors of society to represent everybody.

"This is modern Scotland," says Hogan. "The message is, don't rule yourself out."

Hogan says that if a person signs up with the NHS Organ Donor Register, the service will always check it so anyone can be considered for tissue and organ donation regardless of age.

She says that older kidneys can work just as well as the kidneys from a 20-year-old.

And because kidneys have long been transplanted from elder donors to younger patients, there is no doubt that it has transformed and saved the lives of those who are undergoing dialysis.

Hogan adds that organ donation and saving someone's life is a "marvelous legacy" that one can do even at an old age.

Organ Donation

Statistics show that 540 patients in Scotland are awaiting corneal transplant, while 480 people across the United Kingdom have died while waiting for a call in 2015.

There are several ways to sign up for organ donation. To join the NHS Organ Donor Register, anyone in the UK can go to the We Need Everybody website.

A software update from Apple has also recently allowed users in the U.S. to easily become organ donors.

Photo: John Patrick Robichaud | Flickr

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