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Rediff.com  » News » Now, a kidney bank in Kerala

Now, a kidney bank in Kerala

Last updated on: June 09, 2011 14:19 IST

Father Davis Chirammel is a Catholic priest who was ordained into priesthood on December 30, 1988, at the age of 28.

Father Chirammal, while a priest at St Xaviers Church, Vadanapally in Kerala, received a request from a group of people in his neighbourhood to call a meeting to help a person, Gopinath, who was suffering from acute renal failure.

Father Chirammal, who presided over the meeting, was appointed chairman of a committee entrusted to collect money for Gopinath's kidney transplant.

Once the money had been collected the committee came across an even bigger challenge; finding a kidney donor.

With stringent laws on kidney donation in force, Gopinath had been unable to find any donor.

It was then that Father Chirammal volunteered to donate his kidney. But here again Father Chirammal faced a lot of obstacles. Following the infamous kidney selling racket in Kerala, the state government had initiated stringent measures to curb the donation of kidney.

A donor now had to appear before a committee comprising of seven members, which included professors from medical colleges, the forensic department and other experts, for an interview.

Father Davis Chirammal while speaking to rediff.com said, "This is a very difficult phase in kidney donation. Even though I am priest it took me three months to get clearance, so you can imagine the situation for an ordinary person who volunteers to donate his kidney."

Father Chirammal further said, "People going in for kidney transplant seek donors when both their kidneys fail and the patient enters into a critical stage. If the government procedure takes more than three months to issue a clearance the chances of the patient surviving is very less".

Father Davis donated his kidney to Gopinath on September 30 at Lakeshore hospital,Kochi. Three to four months after donating his kidney, Father Chirammal embarked on a Kerala trip from Kasargod, in northern Kerala, to Thiruvananthapuram, the southern tip, to create awareness among students and general public about kidney donation. During this journey he hit upon the idea of a kidney bank.

He initiated and formed the Kidney Federation of India, to promoting kidney donation. The unique idea behind the kidney bank is that if a person accepts a kidney from a donor, then the receiver's family is bound to donate a kidney to a third person who is in need. Likewise, a chain is created.

One of the top industrialists of Kerala, Kochouseph Chittilapally, voluntarily donated his kidney following the example set by Father Chirammal.

Father Chirammal is expecting the chain to grow and reach out to all people who are in need of a kidney, cutting across religious, regional and communal boundaries.

Father Davis Chirammal can be contacted at 09846236342

Arun Lakshman in Thiruvananthapuram