A bishop in Kottayam district of Kerala has decided to take the cue from Pope Francis and ensure that his call to make 2016 a 'Year of Mercy' doesn't go in vain.
Jacob Muricken, the Bishop of Pala diocese of the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church, will donate his kidney to 30-year-old Sooraj Sudhakaran, who has been undergoing dialysis for over a year after both his kidneys failed.
For the 53-year-old bishop, the recipient's religion was never a concern. "It is only a simple sacrifice for a fellow being," he said.
Muricken is the first serving bishop who has volunteered to donate a kidney, while alive.
"Our church and Pope Francis truly believe and back such acts of organ donations. It's in the spirit of the church. I believe this should be a strong message for people around me, to be open to donating organs," Bishop Murickan told NDTV.
“If I can save the life of Sudhakaran, a family would be saved," the Bishop told The Indian Express.
The transplantation surgery is scheduled to be held at a private hospital in Kochi on June 1.
What the Bishop calls a 'simple sacrifice' is nothing short of a miracle for 30-year-old Sudhakaran, whose kidneys failed a year and a half ago.
As a result, Sudhakaran, the only earning member of his family, had to sell his house. Struggling to meet the expenses for his treatment, he had registered himself with the Kidney Federation of India last year, and was desperately waiting for a donor.
The bishop learnt of Sudhakaran's plight from the chairman of the Kidney Federation of India, Father Davis Chiramel, who himself donated one of his kidneys seven years ago.
“I told the father that I will be happy to part with one of my kidneys. He told me about Sooraj. Happy that it is happening in the Year of Mercy,” he said.
Inspired by Chiramel, so far, 15 priests and six nuns have donated kidneys to non-related recipients through the organ donation network, Kidney Federation of India.
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