First kidney donor’s death recalls Wellesley doctor’s historic operation

Joseph Murray, the Wellesley resident who was lead surgeon for the world’s first successful human-to-human organ transplant back in 1954, this week recalled the man who donated that historic kidney. Richard Herrick, who donated a kidney to his identical twin brother Ronald, died this week in Maine at the age of 79.

“If he could help his brother live, he would do anything,” said Murray, now 92, according to the Boston Channel, which includes a video report. Murray went on to become chief plastic surgeon at Children’s Hospital in Boston.

The controversial procedure took place at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and earned Murray a Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1990. Ronald Herrick died 8 years after the transplant.

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