Very Special Birthday Salutation




Dear Sam

Today is our Batch-mate & My classmate at Royal Dr Chandra Rodrigo’s Birthday.
For the last five or six years we have made it a point to visit him.
annexed is the email he sent us about two weeks ago & a photo taken today.Grateful if you can post it in our webpage for the information of others,
Best Regards

It’s Chandra’s Birthday!!!

Many Happy returns of the Day Chandra!!!!
Thank you for writing to us and updating  your amazing medical history. Your story will no doubt inspire all of us.
On behalf of the Batch64 let me be the first to wish you many more Birthdays to celebrate with the blessings of the Triple Gem.
Please do communicate with us via this Blog. Feel free to log on to
                                                    to see what the others are up to.





Dear  Colleagues,  

I was diagnosed to be suffering from MOTOR NEURON DISEASE (MND) in June 2006 by Neurologists in University of Hong Kong and later confirmed by the Motor Neuron Research Centre in Kings College, London, UK. I was told that I would die within THREE years. They also told me that if I do not develop any complications that I may live up to a maximum of FIVE years.   It is ELEVEN years since I was diagnosed to be suffering from MND. I had a Respiratory Arrest in February 2011. Since then I am permanently connected to a Ventilator I.e. for SIX years and FOUR months. In Sri Lanka, probably I am the longest surviving patient permanently connected to a ventilator.  Now I am unable to move both arms and legs. I am typing this letter with the help of an attendant telling him what key to press. Now I am unable to pass stools as I do not have the strength to push the stools through the anal sphincter. An attendant manually removes the stools periodically.

  Chandra Rodrigo

50 thoughts on “Very Special Birthday Salutation”

  1. Dear Chandra Rodrigo,

    Happy birthday to you. What an inspiring story of human will to stay alive!

    Hang in there.

    May peace and happiness be with you.

    Esiri Karunaratne from Pennsylvania, USA


  2. Dear Chandra

    On your Birthday wishes come from London
    May you have comfort and peace of Mind
    My dear Friend, you are a champion among us
    Wish all the best from the bottom of my Heart

    On behalf of the batch sixty-four, like to state
    The courage and stamina you demonstrate
    Amazing and a fine example to emulate
    The strength of a mind wouldn’t accept defeat

    We wish you comfort and peace of mind
    Thoughts are with you though aren’t around
    Almighty powers in the world should join
    To give solace and ease to nullify any pain

    Ariya De Silva


  3. Message from Wije

    Dear Chandra
    While I wish you happy birthday, I admire greatly your courage in fighting this devastating disease
    May the blessings of the noble triple gem be with you


  4. dear MRC I remember you in med school as handsome and brilliant young man, always pleasant and friendly, I hope and wish you the very best on your bday and through all your trials
    best of luck


  5. Dear Chandra

    Wish You A Happy Birthday

    We all know your illness doesn’t define you,
    Your Courage does.

    Courage is not Having the strength to go on
    It is Going on When There Is No Strength

    I will always cherish the friendly memories of our gatherings ,arranged by Rohini,, in HonKong in 80s,


  6. My Dear ‘ Rodda ‘- I always called you by this name and fondly remember you as the R gp and S gp were together most times during our time at med school .

    You are a TRUE Image of Courage , and I do admire you for your strength of Mind .
    I really have no words to describe your Strength of Courage in the face of such adversity .
    You are teaching the Class of 64 a great lesson, and we will always remember you and honor you for this .

    The old saying-When the Going gets Tough, the Tough gets Going !
    YOU are the epitome of this .

    Hang in there my dear Rodda and we, the Class of 64 is also hanging in there for you .
    Happy Birthday and many Blessings to you today.

    Sending you Good Vibes and many Blessings from Ontario, Canada, on this day 21st August 2017 , the Day of of The Total Eclipse of The Sun in USA and Partial Eclipse for us in Canada .

    Deepthie Seneviratne ( Rajapakse ) – Ontario, Canada .


  7. Dear Chandra,
    While wishing you a very happy birthday, I am very saddened to hear that you are suffering from MND. Some or other I was not aware of this. I don’t know why God has given this to a nicest person like you. From the letter you wrote, it is obvious that you have a strong mind & will. Keep it going so that you can see through many more birthdays.
    With tears in my eyes, I wish you all the BEST.


  8. Dear Dalpe and Sam,
    Thanks, Dalpe for keeping Chandra on focus
    And making it possible for him to communicate
    Sam’s ’64 web, helps to firm the ties of our class
    Grateful for setting up a vehicle bringing us close


  9. Dear Chandra
    Best wishes on your birthday!!! We admire the courage and strength you have shown dealing with a dreadful illness. Our prayers r with you
    Satha &Selvi


  10. Dear MRC,
    All good wishes to you on your birthday. Your courage and fortitude is admirable and an example to us all. I remember you as a the one who answered all the difficult questions at ward classes. May you have the blessings to have many more birthdays and good thoughts.
    Narme Wickremesinghe

    Thanks Dalpe and Sam for keeping us linked.


  11. Dear Chandra
    Happy birthday to you. Although we have not met since we graduated, when I read the Souvenir of the 50th Anniversary I knew that you have achieved everything in life and I was sad to know that you were on a ventilator.due to MND. I admire your strength greatlyand the excellent support you get from your family,friends and carers.I wish you all the best.


  12. Dear Chandra,
    Wish you a very happy birthday and all good wishes, that God will give you the strength to go through with what you are going through. You are a person not only of great intelligence but character too. I can remember Ranjit visiting you in Sri Lanka a few years ago and telling me that you were suffering from MND. I was saddened to hear this, but I know your tenacity will help you.
    On a more lighter note I can remember our very first day in the operating theatre when the surgeon was performing a thyroidectomy….. we were asked about the relations of the Thyroid artery…or something like that. You knew so much about it and you got carried away by your knowledge that while explaining you put your bare finger on to the thyroid and tried to give all the details and you got chased out of the theatre by the Surgeon ( cant remember his name but I can picture his face ) I think on the same day I too got shouted at by the same surgeon as I tried to put back on the sterilised instruments tray, one of the forceps that had fallen on the floor. These bring some wonderful memories of our days at Medical College. I still cherish these memories. Dear MRC as we used to call you, Ranjit and wish you all the best… and as the lyrics of the song go.
    May the good Lord bless and keep you whether near or far away, May you find that long awaited golden day today…May your troubles be small ones and may the good Lord bless and keep you till we meet again. Ranjit and Praxy.
    Thank you Dalpe for giving us this opportunity to get some news about him and the opportunity to wish him.


    1. Dear Praxy and Saram, Many thanks for your birthday wishes and comments. Yes, I can remember the incident. It was Dr. Ravindran.


  13. Nice story Praxy, these are the little gossip, in our old age like to reminisce
    We are blessed with memory banks, yourself, Deepthie, and Rani Simone
    How you recollect vividly of events happened more than a half a century ago
    I wish many others too would join in the chit chat and give a whole hearted go


  14. A narrow escape

    Resding your lovely poem I too remembered a few events
    We had just joined Bloem, had to obey demands of seniors
    Two seniors wished to abscond professor’s Theatre sessions
    Myself and Kaleel were guneapigs were asked to impersonate

    First time in a surgical theatre we were immensely excited
    Few seniors taught us how to change into surgical garments
    We had never worn fabric hats and masks before, were thrilled
    The famous genius arrived with entourage, scene was moribund

    Seniors reassured us while wearing a gown, a hat and a mask
    Old Professor cannot distinguish, any Tom from Harry or Dick
    Yet us two were ordered to stay behind the honourable seniors
    As long as we kept our mouths shut, session would calmly pass

    It was bemusing for two of us to see that old professor had to be dressed
    By a nurse, listening in silence to dry jokes with an aura of obedience plus
    It was a refashioning of a cleft palate of a young boy, the first case in the list
    All students assembled round the op table, prof diligently counted the heads

    He was satisfied ten heads were there including the two imposters!
    Were forced to listen to a collection, of mostly uninteresting tales
    First time I saw blood, when a cut on patient’s face was made
    Kaleel and myself were not enjoying, felt nauseous and horrendous

    Suddenly good professor wanted to check how clever were his pupils
    Asked from the team any one to answer ‘at what stage face develops
    During foetal development, face is formed’ only one hand was raised
    Starts between third to fourth, complete by the eighth week, I shouted

    It was a stroke of luck that we had embryology lecture that week
    Dr Navaratnam, a fine embryo lecturer taught how face developed
    Fresh in the memory, this thoughtless brat just to impress the crowd
    Digging my own grave as well ruining future of two seniors, I shouted

    The seniors were stunned not because I did know the answer
    But I had let the cat out of the bag, as I was there as an imposter
    I got a smile and a nod, from Prof, but suddenly shouted in anger
    Thought I’ll be doomed, no, had spotted a mask loose, of a senior



  15. Please mates mind my typing errors
    I am getting older with failing eyes
    First line of the poem is full of horrors
    Just ignore and read my tricks of trades


  16. Thank you my dear Praxy , for the beautiful and yet very funny story- those were the days !

    MRC_ I hope you read Praxy’s write up and it made you laugh as she always comes up with some real funny anecdote of the days at med school !!

    It is great that Sam has this web page, for us to ‘ stay together ‘ despite all odds .

    The Old saying ‘” the family that prays together, stays together ‘ and I think, this is what is going on among the Class of 64- where we all are always thinking of each other and wishing each other all the goodness that life can offer , and if life has dealt a not a good hand , then, we extend to each other a good helping hand to deal with the not so good hand that has been dealt to the one in need, as in this case MRC Rodrigo .

    Yes, as Seelan says – I too missed the details till saw the note by Dalpe, and read the
    Sovenier book again .

    I did hear that MRC was not well- but, the details had skipped my old brain .
    Also- another thing skipped my brain- ‘ Rodda’ was actually Nelson Rodrigo ( who is no longer with us ) and Chandra was ‘ MRC ‘ .
    I used to confuse these two Rodrigo boys even back then- never mind now, 50 yrs later !

    Ariya- the Eagle Brain is loosing it !!

    Perhaps I should have taken a bit of The Drink yesterday, to increase my brain power, ( not the looks !!! ) when the two most powerful Celestial Beings- The Sun and The Moon were hugging each other and putting all of us in the shade !

    Again- thank you my dear Sam, for the creation of this wonderful project and I am taking this oppertunity to wish you all the best , today, in your elective surgical procedure , and extending to you, my ‘helping hand ‘ with all the Blessings and Prayers it can hold ..

    Hang in there MRC !
    Deepthie .


  17. Hey Ariya- your funny note came in as I was writing mine !
    Lesson of The Day- Keep Your Mouth Shut !
    MRC- I hope you are laughing now at all the fun stuff we are writing !


  18. Dear Chandra
    You will remember me, I am sure, as we often studied together at your home in Borella. You knew Gray’s Anatomy back to front that Dr Olivelle (the scholarly Anatomy demonstrator in our time) referred to you as Professor ! You knew all the fine print in Gray’s Anatomy ! Whenever, I come to Colombo I had wanted to visit you but had no idea on how I could contact you. May be next time, I will come and see you. I admire you the way you are remaining so positive. What a legend !
    My very best wishes


    1. Dear Mahilal, Many thanks for your birthday wishes and comments. When you come to Colombo please come and see me. I still live in Rodrigo Mawatha but at No. 31 in my own house. Telephone 2856272.


      1. Dear Mahilal, Many thanks for your birthday wishes and comments. When your come to Colombo please come and see me. I still live in Nawala, Rodrigo Mawatha but at no 31 in my own house. Telephone 2875262.


  19. Dear Chandra

    Our prayers are with you. Hope the Almighty will give you enough strength and courage to fight this
    dreadful condition. Happy Birthday my dear friend


  20. Dear MRC let me wish u a v. Happy bday.I salute u for d great courage shown in fighting ur illness.wish u God’s blessing to bear it .regards


  21. Dear MRC – Piching and I wish you the very best on your birthday. It Was so heartening to read the account about your illness. There is a big lesson to be learnt by all of us. We with most of our faculties reasonably intact tend to complain about every little shortcoming we face in life. Here you are totally incapacitated , but perfectly functioning brain are taking things in its stride. We admire your wonderful attitude strength and courage.

    Nisantha and Piching Banda


  22. My dear Rodda,
    Thank you very much for your posting which I read with mixed emotions. Whilst it was sad to note what you are going through, it was immensely inspiring to recognise the courage with which you are facing up to your illness. It makes our problems pale into insignificance. I have fond memories of the times when I came to Kiribathgoda to meet you from my practice at Kadawatha to have a chat and a quick lunch. However time has moved on and we are where we are now.
    Wish you all the best on your birthday and the blessings of the Noble Triple Gem for the future.


  23. Dear Rodda

    Please accept our belated Birthday Wishes.Like Titus organising the R.U in U.K you both are inspiring all of us.Miracles happen.We pray that some new approaches in therapy bringing some happy news for you and your family.

    Maharojani and Sreetharan.


  24. Dear Chandra
    wish you very uplifting birthday, peace,comfort and deep happiness as the things are. also wish you courage to bear the things that comes.


  25. Happy Birthday Chandra,
    I remember you better as Rodrigo / Rodda. I remember you as always well dressed with nice spectacles. Unfortunately because of our alphabetic order, i did not have much contact with you in med school. In 2014 I was trying to locate you by word of mouth with no success. Then I got a break, located a medical publication by you and traced you back to Hong kong, dental school . The dental school could only confirm you did work there but could not help me locate you. Then “Gompa”, Nihal Gunatilake informed me of your condition . He said he visited you. When I came for the RU in 2014, I wanted to visit you. But I was not sure if if you were up to receiving visitors and i needed to respect your privacy. I am really sorry to hear of your illness. I cannot even imagine how difficult it must be for you. You are a testament to the earlier quote “Courage is not Having the strength to go on
    It is Going on When There Is No Strength” We admire your strength of mind, I am hoping and wishing you will be given strength to cope. All the best. dharma alagaratnam.
    PS, I would try to visit you when I am in SL if it is OK with you.


  26. Dear MRC

    Very saddened to learn about your illness. I was completely in the dark as to your wear about since qualifying. We were seated next to each other during Pysiology ,pharmacology and Biochem lectures. I remember you as a very bright student with a good memory knew Grays anatomy from cover to cover. Admire your strength endurance and courage to cope with your illness and most of all to reach out for your batch mates inspite of your illness. May God grant you peace of mind and inner strength to cope.
    Wish you a Very Happy Birthday May God Bless You.



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