Mangaluru: Father Muller Medical College Hospital (FMMCH) organised a felicitation programme for blood donors and organisations conducting blood donation camps as part of the World Blood Donor Day theme for this year, ‘Thank you for saving my life’, at the conference hall of Asha Kiran block, FMMCH campus, here on June 18.
The programme began with an invocation. Associate Professor of Pathology Department, Dr Kirana Pailoor welcomed the gathering. Director of Father Muller Charitable Institutions Fr Patrick Rodrigues inaugurated the programme by lighting the traditional lamp along with other dignitaries on the dais.
The chief guest, Fr Vinod Mascarenhas, a frequent blood donor who has donated blood more than 75 times, said, “There is no alternative for human blood. It is a gift given to us by God, and is the most important gift that you can give to those in need of it because it cannot be produced in the lab. I began donating blood quite early, and I donate atleast 4 times a year. It feels great when you donate. You get a feeling of happiness, contentment by doing this act.” He recalled an incident where he had to donate blood at a blood bank and carry it to another hospital to the donor (a girl) since there was no blood bank facility in the hospital where she was admitted. “It was a unique experience to carry one’s own blood. But it was exhilarating to know that I could save a life.”
Fr Patrick Rodrigues felicitated Fr Vinod on the occasion. Organisers of blood donation camps and individual blood donors were also felicitated on the occasion.
Addressing the gathering, Fr Patrick said, “When I was at St John’s Medical College Hospital in Bangalore, I met a person one day. He was sitting all alone outside the blood bank office, and I began a conversation with him. He had come from the outskirts of the city to the hospital just to donate blood. He told me that the reason he came to that hospital was because he had been admitted in the same hospital three years ago. His condition was critical and he required 7 units of blood. He later came to know that the blood he received was from volunteers of the neighbouring colleges and a company. He said to me, ‘They [blood donors] did not know me personally, but still they gave me blood and saved my life. Today, I don’t know who I am donating my blood to. This is my way of saying thank you’.”
“Many people have a traumatic experience when they require blood for their family members. There can be no greater gift to them than giving your blood.” He expressed great satisfaction that the institution’s staff were not only preaching about blood donation, but were also doing it themselves. “It is a motivation for others, especially the students.” He thanked all the organisers and individual donors for their gift of blood.
Dr Charu Khosla delivered the vote of thanks.