This photo was taken in 1952 at the Evaggelismos Hospital. Doctor Alexander Fleming is standing in the middle. I’m to his left.
When I decided to go to medical school to become a doctor, as I had this passion since my childhood, I told him, ‘You know, Grandfather, I will go to medical school.’
‘You will go with the boys to university? I don’t believe it. Why go to university? To learn? Tell me what books you need and I will buy them for you.’ ‘OK, Grandpa, I will tell you.’
And I went out and took part in the examinations and passed, so I went to the medical school. But it wasn’t easy, at all. Grandfather was very strict and acted accordingly, in order to reinforce his position as the head of the family.
But he was also just. I learned very many things from my grandfather, how to respect myself, not to tell lies, to be honest, etc. He taught me all that and most important of all, how to stand in my life.
My grandfather did many things. When I was studying for upcoming exams until up to four in the morning, he would get up and come to check on me, he would open the door slowly and say, ‘Are you still studying? You consume a lot of electricity. Tomorrow is a new day.’ He would shut the door and I would laugh.
I finished medical school and in 1954 I got married, but I had not sat my exams for my medical specialization.
I became a microbiologist and I studied it at the Evagelismos Hospital.