First ever kidney donor in Wisconsin recalls Nobel Prize winner doctor

CREATED Nov 27, 2012

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SUSSEX - He made history and won a Nobel Prize for advancements in modern medicine.

Doctor Joseph Murray passed away at the age of 93.

Thanks to the work of the world-famous doctor, a sussex man became Wisconsin's first ever kidney donor.

Henry Ray's kidney donation to his twin brother was just the eighth in the world. That was 1958.

"And here we are with Dr. Murray..."

Mingled with family photos, Dr. Joseph Murray has a permanent spot in Henry Ray's home and heart.
"I would call him at Christmas, birthday, Father's Day. Last Father's Day is the last time I talked to him," recalled Henry.

The Nobel Prize winner transplanted Henry's kidney into his late brother, James.

"He did that. That's a little square of my brother's skin," Henry shows us during our interview.

Murray's work gave the brothers five more years together before James died.

TODAY'S TMJ4 Reporter Keller Russell: "What does that mean to you looking back on that now?"
Henry:  "(Long pause) No words to describe it."

Dr. Murray died monday in Boston. Henry learned of his passing on the news.

"It was just like my father had passed again."

The two forged a friendship over the years.

Four years ago Henry's whole family reunited with Dr. Murray at the same Boston hospital Henry made history in as a kidney donor.

Sweet memories of a medicine man who makes Henry forever grateful.

The transplant allowed Henry's brother to get married and have a daughter.

She's the first person Henry called after hearing the news.

The 79-year-old tells TODAY'S TMJ4 he'd like to attend Dr. Murray's funeral, if possible.

Click the video link to watch the report.