Sad to report that one of my very first surgical patients has died after a brief illness
Happy Easter! May the love of the newly risen Jesus Christ give all of us hope and joy in our lives.
I am sad to report that one of my very first surgical patients in Rhode Island has died after a brief illness. Gregory George Demetrakas, fondly known as “The Greek” warmly welcomed me in 1989, a new Greek-American hair transplant surgeon from far away Massachusetts, to Rhode Island when I set my practice in Providence.
Gregory’s family and mine were from the island of Lesvos or Mytelini, so we hit it off from the first time we met. He introduced me to many in the Greek American community of Rhode Island. Additionally, he helped me with business advice, as doctors are notoriously poor businessmen.
One of the most generous things he did for me was to be open to the general public about having had hair transplants, which was quite uncommon in those days of the old fashioned “plugs”. He did TV and radio commercials with me for Leonard Hair Transplant Associates—and, he was excellent doing them.
Over the years we visited one another and had countless telephone calls with me starting: “Yassou, Patrioti” (To your health, fellow Patriot); his reply always was “Yassou, Levendi” (To your health, Young Man). I’m not such a young man any longer, but it always brought a smile to my face when he said that!
Most of all, however, though having a rough and gruff voice, he was a kind, generous, philanthropic, and loving man to his friends and, particularly, to his family. Fiercely proud of his Greek heritage, over the last thirty-plus years, he quietly improved the lives of thousands on the island of Mytelini and beyond by providing the necessities of life and their ability to get good healthcare.
I will miss my mentor and dear Friend very much. Theos mazisou, Patrioti!
May his memory be eternal!
Dr. Robert Leonard