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Article updated: 3/18/2013 2:02 PM

NC woman IDs donor in rabies case; one organ came to Illinois

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RALEIGH, N.C. -- A North Carolina woman says her child's father is the Air Force mechanic whose rabies-infected organs were transplanted into multiple recipients, including a Maryland man who died.

Alecia Mercer of Trenton, N.C., said Monday that military and state health officials told her last week that William Edward Small had died of rabies in September 2011. At the time of his death, Mercer says she was told that Small died of complications from a stomach virus.

Doctors in Florida didn't test the 20-year-old Small for rabies before he died. A man who received an infected kidney died. His heart, liver and other kidney went to recipients in Florida, Georgia and Illinois.

Small had been in the Air Force for 17 weeks before he died. He was in Florida to train as aviation mechanic.

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