News & Stories

College of Medicine Students Pay Tribute to Body Donors

Their first patient—that’s how students in the College of Medicine often identify the body entrusted to them for their anatomy studies  through NEOMED’s Body Donation program.

Each year, NEOMED holds a service at which students, faculty and staff pay tribute to those who donated their bodies during the past year.

While an in-person service was not possible this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many rising second-year students from the College of Medicine  wished to share their stories and appreciation with the families of the donors. Below are a few of those testimonials:


“As medical students, we spend most of our time tackling minute details, from biochemical pathways to the anatomy and physiology of our systems. But beneath these details lies a bigger picture; each of these pathways contribute to making us human beings. Your loved ones allowed us to understand this with their willingness to donate. They helped us understand how beautiful and complicated the human body can be, and that beneath the tissues is a human being who lived a life full of love and purpose. Your loved ones continue to live on with the impact they made on our lives because they gave us the gifts of knowledge and understanding that will help us to improve and the save the lives of many future patients. Thank you for giving us the honor and opportunity to be able to learn more and grow as future physicians.”

-Daiyajot Grewal, College of Medicine Student, Class of 2023


“I cannot express the extent of my gratitude to all donors and their loved ones. It’s difficult for me to imagine how hard it must have been for many of the families involved to not have some kind of closure or to say goodbye, especially in these difficult times. I think what all of your family members have done is an incredibly selfless act and shows how they really sought to leave the world in a better place. I hope that myself and my classmates can do a fraction of the good in our lifetimes through the things we have learned off the generosity of the donors and all the families. Thank you.”

-Devin Spivey, College of Medicine Student, Class of 2023


“It is difficult to put into words how much we have learned and experienced thanks to both the donor and their family. Your loved one has given us an invaluable foundation and allowed us the opportunity to appreciate the human body in its entirety. The donations made do not go unnoticed and we are so immensely grateful. Thank you so much for everything that you have done. The memory of your loved one and the gift they provided us will remain with us for the rest of our lives.”

-Sneha Gundavarpu, College of Medicine Student, Class of 2023


“After several attempts at expressing my gratitude to you in words, I have realized that my gratitude goes far beyond what I can put into words. The donation made by your loved one has provided a priceless educational experience for me and my classmates. The knowledge that I gained from your loved one goes far beyond what a textbook or lecture could ever teach, and I will carry that knowledge with me wherever I go. As hard as it is to accept the passing of someone who you held so close to your heart, know that their passing was not in vain – they have provided our entire class of physicians in training with knowledge and experience that will become vital to the treatment of all of our future patients. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.”

-Derek Teeling, College of Medicine Student, Class of 2023


Read more student letters