Al­fred De­bat­tista (1937-2017)

The Malta Independent on Sunday - - LETTERS -

Al­fred founded the Trans­plant Sup­port Group in May 2000, shortly af­ter re­ceiv­ing the heart of a young Goz­i­tan lad. Al­fred ded­i­cated the rest of his life to pro­mote or­gan do­na­tion in the Mal­tese Is­lands. This al­tru­is­tic trait was very ev­i­dent in Al­fred’s per­son­al­ity as was his sense of car­ing and ded­i­ca­tion to­wards or­gan re­cip­i­ents, re­nal pa­tients and their fam­i­lies.

Al­fred was not only my best friend but also a close col­league, a hum­ble per­son who was al­ways ready to help, es­pe­cially dur­ing dif­fi­cult mo­ments. His top pri­or­ity in life was his fam­ily – his wife Ghita, his son Ray, his daugh­ter Nathalie, their spouses and of course his four grand­sons who he sim­ply adored.

I got to know Al­fred 13 years ago in St Luke’s Hospi­tal, a few hours be­fore I do­nated my left kid­ney to a friend. He spoke with com­pas­sion and of­fered sup­port that meant a great deal to me at the time. Al­fred even­tu­ally per­suaded me to join TSG as a com­mit­tee mem­ber to as­sist and sup­port liv­ing kid­ney donors and pa­tients await­ing a trans­plant.

For al­most 17 years, Al­fred strived, and man­aged, to boost or­gan do­na­tion aware­ness by en­rolling thou­sands of per­sons to sign up for the donor card, a small doc­u­ment that ex­pressed so much sen­ti­ment and sig­nif­i­cance. He was also in­stru­men­tal in the new leg­is­la­tion that al­lows any­body aged over 16 to be of­fi­cially listed as donors on the Na­tional Reg­is­ter.

In re­cent months, when Al­fred’s health was rapidly fail­ing, I used to visit him both at home and in hospi­tal. His last words to me were: “James, my best friend” …words that I will cher­ish for as long as I live. He was truly re­spected by all through­out his ca­reer with the po­lice force and at Bank of Valletta. Al­fred will be sorely missed by all although his spirit of gen­eros­ity will doubtlessly live on. James Mus­cat Pres­i­dent Trans­plant Sup­port Group (Malta)

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