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‘Myself and my family are indebted to him for life’: How one priest’s decision began a life-saving movement

A Bishop, nun and thirteen clerics have decided to follow Father Davis Chiramel’s lead when he gave the gift of life to a poor electrician.

According to The Times of India, Thekkemadathil Gopinathan initially refused Fr. Chiramel’s offer of a donated kidney.

“How can I make a priest, who is engaged in many other social service activities, suffer for me?” Gopinathan thought. “This was my thinking then. But Fr. Chiramel was determined and my friends persuaded me to accept.”

Many choose not to donate extra organs, such as a kidney, for fear of a surgery gone wrong or the necessity of the missing organ later in life but Fr. Chiramel knew he had been called to help a person in need.

“I had gone through the medical history of at least ten people who had donated kidney[s] earlier, and had seen the downloaded videos of transplant surgeries. I was fully convinced that kidney donation does not cause any health issues.

“…I believe paradise is realised when you offer whatever is in your possession while alive, and not when you ensure your body is laid in a nicely built tomb,” Chiramel explained.

The surgery went off without a hitch and Fr. Chiramel’s gift changed the atmosphere of India’s clergy.

Indian clerics donate kidneys in amazing gift of life.Indian clerics donate kidneys in amazing gift of life (Kidney Federation of India).

Since the kidney transplant in 2009, the Kidney Federation of India (KFI) has seen a rise in people interested in organ donation.

Fifteen other clerics have donated their kidneys and not a single one cared whether the organ went to a fellow believer or not.

On the KFI’s website, one donor offered a kidney to his colleague’s sister. He asked: “If the same thing [kidney failure] had happened to my daughter, wouldn’t I have done the same thing?”

Asha Jacob, whose husband was a kidney patient who died before an organ was found, shared: “Since I understood the pain of it, I decided to donate a kidney to a patient awaiting transplantation.”

Gopinathan’s testimony is at the bottom of the page. He stated: “I don’t have words to express my feelings towards that good soul…Fr. Davis Chiramel. He saved me from the clutches of death by donating his kidney and, today I am leading a normal life only because of him. Myself and my family are indebted to him for life.”


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