Meera Banaji, MD
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July 15, 1932 – August 21, 2019
Dr. Meera Banaji, 87, died peacefully at Central Washington Hospital on Wednesday August 21, 2019 surrounded by her family.
Born July 15, 1932 to Shew and Amy Das in Lahore, India Meera attended Bishop Westcott School in Ranchi in Southern Bihar followed by the Women's College in Patna for pre-medical education. She enrolled in Prince of Wales Medical College in Patna in 1951. Following she worked in a private hospital in New Delhi as well as Kurji Holy Family Hospital in Patna. On April 22, 1961 she married Eddie P. Banaji in Patna, India. She and Eddie had two children, Darius born in 1962 and Nilufer born in 1963. Seeking better opportunities for themselves and their children, Meera and Eddie immigrated to the USA in September of 1971 they lived in Everett, Seattle and finally settled in Bellevue Washington.
As written by her colleague Dr. Fred Appelbaum, “In 1972 Meera joined the Division of Oncology as a medical technologist. From 1972 until her retirement in 1997, Meera dedicated her professional life to making sure transplant patients got the right blood products at the right time. When Meera first arrived, the King County Blood Bank did not provide platelet transfusions. Meera set up a complete platelet transfusion service, recruiting faculty, staff, nurses, laboratory technicians and patient family members to donate the all-important platelets for transplant patients. She subsequently conducted practice changing studies of the impact of ABO compatibility on the choice of platelet donors, on the use of CMV-safe blood products, and on the role of splenectomy prior to transplantation. As those of us of a certain age remember, every morning she singlehandedly decided which of our transplant patients would be transfused and with what products. She taught us the consequences of major versus minor ABO mismatching on post-transplant outcomes, how to handle patients as they changed their blood types, and which platelet products to choose for each patient. Whenever an unusual transfusion problem developed, Meera was the person we turned to. Everything Meera did, she did with grace and compassion, and always in a beautiful sari.”
Prior to her move to Wenatchee in 2013, Meera was a very active member of St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church for over 35 years. She served on the Altar Guild and also volunteered in the Thrift Shop. Meera was a voracious reader and belonged to several book clubs, loved her daily jumble word and crossword puzzle. She enjoyed traveling the world, was a very talented knitter, passionate in Ikebana, the art of Japanese flower arranging and was a fabulous cook!
Meera is survived by her son, Darius (Liz) Banaji of Honolulu, Hawaii; daughter Nilufer Wheeler of Wenatchee WA; three grandchildren, that she was most proud of, Justin Wheeler of Des Moines IA, Ryan and Cameron Wheeler both of Wenatchee, WA. Meera was preceded in death by her husband of nearly 45 years, Eddie. Other family members include Bob and Helen Das, and three nieces, Jennifer, Sheila and Catherine, one great niece, Olivia, all of Canada as well as Arun and Nayantara Adhikari, Meera Adhikari, and Ravi and Gita Adhikari all of India.
A funeral service will be held at 1:00pm on Saturday September 28, 2019 at St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church 4228 Factoria Blvd SE, Bellevue, WA. Family and friends are invited to join a reception immediately following the service in Bristol Hall. In lieu of flowers contributions may be made to St. Margaret’s Memorial Fund. Please sign the online guestbook found at www.HeritageMemorialChapel.com
Our family would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to the St. Margaret’s family, Altar Guild and especially Pam Griffith for your care and preparation of our Mom’s service and reception.