Doctors Nikoletta and George Carayannopoulos featured on Channel 13
KTRK health reporter Christi Myers came to Galveston to learn about the long-distance, years-in-the-making love story of two UTMB physicians who recently married and chose UTMB and Galveston as the place where they most wanted to work and settle down. Click on the video for a UTMB Valentine’s Day love story.
Courtesy Christi Myers, KTRK
Sometimes, two people are fated to be together -- like two local doctors. Years went by after they met. But they're finally together after 11 years, and they credit God and a mother's Facebook account for their life together. The love story of Niki Caraynannoopoulos, the orthopedic surgeon, and George Caraynannoopoulos, the cardiologist, began when they met at age 15 at their Greek church. Half a dozen years later, they met again in college. But then they lost touch during their medical training. He ended up in New York. She was in her residency at UTMB.
How Niki and George met the third time can be partly credited in part to his mother.
"She said, Why don't you look her up on Facebook?' And I told my mom, 'Well, I don't have a Facebook account.' My mom goes, 'I have a Facebook account. Let's look her up,'" Dr. George Caraynannoopoulos said.
They got in touch and met for the third time at a party on a New York rooftop.
"That was our first time to see each other after almost 11 years. It was like fireworks and they knew something special was happening," Dr. George Caraynannoopoulos said.
"One of our friends said it was like a Disney movie," Dr. Niki Caraynannoopoulos said.
They married in Houston, but where to live? They were in different states and didn't want a long distance marriage. Then out of the blue, they both got offers from UTMB -- him to direct the Heart Rhythm Center, her to be chief of orthopedic trauma surgery.
There are long hours, but working in the same place has helped.
"That's the bright spot of our day, is to be able to spend a little time together and to see each other, even briefly. It means the world to me," Dr. Niki Caraynannoopoulos said.
In their off time, they like to spend evenings watching their wedding video or watching the waves.
"I think God kept opening up these doors because it was meant to be," Dr. Niki Caraynannoopoulos said.