Mangaluru: Precilla D’Souza fears early demise - Toronto University arranges special PhD convocation

Daijiworld Media Network - Mangaluru (SP)

Mangaluru, May 18: Recently, Precilla Dsouza, a native of Beltangady, was conferred with PhD degree by University of Toronto. A special convocation was organized in recognition of her service towards saving lives of trauma patients.

The university had arranged the special convocation as Precilla expressed the fear that she may not live long enough to attend the regular convocation of the university.

Precilla, who was born on July 13, 1972 to parents, Urban Veigas and Eugene Madtha, both government employees, lived in Beltangady before the family moved to Karkala when she was five. She lost her father, when in sixth standard, because of brain haemorrhage all of a sudden. She completed her PU education in Bhuvanendra College Karkala before joining Manipal Academy of Higher Education where she completed graduation in medical microbiology in 1996.

After her marriage in 1997, Precilla moved to Dubai where her husband worked. She yearned to do PhD and got an opportunity to do so in India but could not as she had to live with her husband. She then bagged job in a hospital as quality control technologist and lab technologist. As she had the burning desire to complete her PhD, the couple applied for immigration to Canada where her husband got a job before the couple immigrated.

Precilla got permission to work under a pilot programme in a reputed hospital. She enrolled herself in McMaster University, Hamilgon, Ontario and Humber College in Toronto to get the post-graduate certificates. She became the coordinator of a clinical study on cardiac arrest and trauma patients at risk of bleeding to death, and pool data from over 75 hospitals.

On the basis of work done on this project, she was taken by Dr Sandro Rizoli as a PhD candidate in 2012 in the faculty of medicine in University of Toronto. In 2015, Precilla was diagnosed with bile duct cancer which spread soon to her ovaries, liver and lungs. She was given only six more months to live. She continued her studies in between chemotherapy sessions which drained her.

She continued to work hard for 20 months and published papers besides giving presentations although it was painful experience. As she expressed fear that she might not survive to see the convocation scheduled for June, the university agreed to hold a special convocation for her on May 9 for awarding PhD degree to her. Many family members including some from India attended the convocation.

Precilla says she believes she will be leaving a legacy for her daughter, Jadyn, to achieve her life goals amid challenges she might face in her life, and inspire fellow researchers to work hard and follow their dreams in spite of the realization that life is short.