‘Driving on Turnpike with a Kidney in the Car at Three in the Morning’: Devon Man Retires from Career Saving Lives

Image via Gift of Life.
Howard Nathan.

Devon resident Howard Nathan is stepping down as president and CEO of the Gift of Life Donor Program. He exits his career after nearly four decades of connecting organ donors with patients in need. Emily Bobrow profiled his life-saving profession in The Wall Street Journal.

The Gift of Life Donor Program is the nation’s largest and most successful organ donor and transplant network. When Nathan first joined the nonprofit, it had three employees. He spent his time traveling to hospitals in Pennsylvania, Delaware, and New Jersey to talk to grieving families about organ donation. He then made calls to surgeons trying to match a donated organ with a waiting patient.

“We would be driving on the Turnpike with a kidney in the car at three in the morning,” recalled Nathan. “In the early days, we had to make it up as we went along.”

In 1994, Nathan helped draft Pennsylvania’s landmark organ donation law that boosted donations by 43 percent in three years and served as the model for a federal law in 1998.

“My goal has always been to improve the whole field,” said Nathan.

Read more about Howard Nathan in The Wall Street Journal.

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