April 2017
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“The righteous gives without holding back”: Indian Catholic Bishop donates kidney to Hindu man
“Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God”.

Obeying these words of Jesus Christ, 53 year old Mar Jacob Muricken, the auxiliary bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Pala, Kerala (India) has decided to send across a heartmelting message of mercy which encapsulates communal harmony and love for one's fellow beings perfectly.

The servant of God, in the decision to donate his kidney to Sooraj (30) of Kottackal is fetching applauses from one and all. The youth is currently admitted in Lakeshore hospital, Kochi.

He undergoes dialysis three times a week in the midst of financial crunches in a desperate bid to retain life. With the doctors certifying both of them fit to undergo surgery and the government authorisation committee's permission coming in, Lakeshore hospital is all set to conduct the surgery on June 1.

Four years ago, Mar Muricken listened to a speech on the greateness organ donation at a Bible convention in Pala. It was delivered by Fr. David Chirammal who is the Chairman of Kidney Federation of India. These words of wisdom touched a chord with his heart and ultimately culminated in the noble deed. Mar Muricken confessed his willingness to donate a kidney to Fr.Chirammal immediatly after taking up the reins as auxiliary bishop.

Sooraj who belongs to a poor family was diagnosed with a serious kidney disease one year back. Tragedy hit him hard when his father Sudhakaran, an employee of Aaryavaidyasala died of snake bite. Later, his mother turned a diabetic patient. Fate made things even worse when his only brother met a tragic end after a grave heart disease.

Along with undergoing treatments in various hospitals, Sooraj registered in the Kidney federation and came in contact with Fr.Chirammal. His search for a suitable match culminated in Mar Muricken's pious gesture. Muricken met Sooraj in hospital last week and shared words of compassion. He left the hospital after spending Rs.60,000 on various lab tests mandatory for confirming his eligibility to donate the organ.

“I see the certification of fitness given by doctors as an act of special care by Lord Jesus. It is the greatest service I can do in the Lord’s name”, says an elated Muricken. “The “year of mercy” declared by Pope Francis is observed through this act of sharing. This is my duty”, he adds.

Muricken showed up in the Kottayam Medical college principal’s office yesterday and expressed willingness before the Highlevel organisation committee and thus completed the final formality before surgery. Sooraj’s relative K.Unnikrishnan was also present at the occassion. Muricken can leave the hospital bed three days after the operation. One month of complete bed rest is also adviced following this.

Fr. Chirammal has requested prayers of one and all as the world witnesses this message of religious camaraderie. Fr. Chirammal had etched his name in history as a pioneer in this field when he donated his own kidney to C.G Gopinath, a native of Thrissur, back in 2008.

Since then, hundreds of people have followed suit, including 15 Christian priests and 6 nuns. Surgeon Dr.George. P. Abraham of Lakeshore hospital, who has a long list of successful kidney transplantations to his credit will do it yet again.

The extra expenses incurred will be collected from Good Samaritans and will be taken care of by the federation, assures Fr. Chirammal.

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