Originally Published on OMIWORLD.ORG
In the year 2000, Fr. Raffaele GRASSO received the transplant of a kidney; however, the transplant did not totally succeed and for 10 years, he had to undergo dialysis that weakens the body and greatly affects every day of the patient’s life. On October 7, one of Fr. Raffaele’s Oblate confreres, Fr. Mario CAMARDA, was able to give him a generous and life-promoting gift, one of his own kidneys. Fr. Mario describes the gift as “a gift of self to a brother, so that he might live.”
The two Oblates have known each other since 1975 when they were together in first formation. Fr. Mario remembers that during the scholasticate, someone asked them: “Are you ready to give your lives for one another?” He continued: “I decided to do it: if I can give a different type of life and alleviate the suffering of Fr. Raffaele, why not help him?” Since the two are not blood relatives, they had to await the judgment of a Tribunal in Pisa before proceeding to the medical tests and the transplant itself. It took nine months of waiting until Fr. Mario was judged to be the most compatible donor.
The operation itself was a success and now, Fr. Raffaele is slowly recuperating. He states: “Now I must take care of a gift that is the fruit of an act of love by a confrere.”