Flashpoint Extra: Philadelphia-based Gift of Life Donor Program shatters records for 12th year in a row

Flashpoint
January 11, 2020 - 4:00 am
Howard Nathan.

Cherri Gregg/KYW Newsradio

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Gift of Life Donor Program shattered records for the 12th year in a row as it leads the nation in the number of organ donors and organ transplants.

This week, the group announced that it has once again broken two national records: Gift of Life coordinated organ donations from 664 organ donors, resulting in the most organs transplanted at 1,865 organs transplanted. In fact, there was a 10% increase in organ donation.

"And the reason is because of the partnerships that we have with the hospitals, but most importantly it's the generosity of our community and more people saying yes to organ donation," said Howard Nathan, president and CEO of the program.

"I think there's more awareness and I think that more and more people see that organ donation is an option," Nathan added when asked why he thinks this shift is happening.

On Jan. 8, Pennsylvania held its very first Organ Donor Day to encourage organ donation, with the goal of getting at least 50% of Commonwealth residents to register by 2021. 

So far, the state is just over 48% registered. 

Nathan says Gift of Life also recovered life enhancing tissue donations from 2,677 donors, a huge shift from 40 years ago. 

"It was only kidney transplantation in those days, but now you see things as fascinating as a baby being born because of a person donating their uterus for transplantation after they passed away," he said.