Joanna Paliospirou: "I felt guilty and ashamed" - Her meetings with the health minister

Joanna Paliospirou

Joanna Paliospirou and the Minister of Health Thanos Plevris spoke to "MEGA" about the establishment of the Burns Registry, which will cover all treatments for burn recovery.

"A multiple burn victim has to go through much. There is a very long, multi-year and costly recovery process. I am in the second year of my rehabilitation. In addition to the surgeries, there is a series of procedures that the burn victim must follow at home every day, and the first five years are intensive. Then they decrease, but it follows us for life", said Joanna Paliospirou.

As stated by Joanna, medicinal preparations, such as healing creams, silicones and the masks are expensive for a patient who has suffered burns and until recently were not covered by the public health scheme.

“I'm about halfway through the process, I have major surgeries to do. I had put a stop because we waited for two years since the attack, because in two years the chemical burn calms down. This moment is a pivotal point in the course of my rehabilitation", added Joanna.

The Minister of Health Thanos Plevris emphasised to MEGA that until now there was only care for the burn victims of the catastrophic fire in Mati. When this gap was identified, legislation was set in motion to create a comprehensive burn registry that would provide for burn recovery.

"We want full coverage until the full recovery of these people," emphasised the health minister.

In describing the meeting she had with Thanos Plevris regarding the implementation of this action, Joanna Paliospirou said: "Our first meeting with the minister was a year ago because I don't think I deserve more than the person who suffered burns and I thought that what was being done was unfair and wrong."

"I got to the point where I felt guilty and ashamed because whether I wanted to or not, the attack escalated. I often visit burn victims. I thought I should do something to solve this problem," she continued. "For me, personally, the love of the world was important. Otherwise I might be in a dark room depressed and staring at the ceiling."

Joanna Paliospirou emphasised that she does not feel anger, which she attributes to the love of the world. She even wanted to thank those who stood by her side these two years.

37-year-old Efi Kakarantzoula was sentenced to 15 years in prison in October 2021 for the attempted murder of Joanna Paliospirou with acid in the Athens suburb of Kallithea in May 2020.

At the time, prosecutor Charalambos Mastrantonakis said the attacker executed her criminal plan “in a calculated manner. She had vile motives, murderous egoism and moral pettiness.”

He stressed that the type of acid that Kakarantzoula used and the way she executed her crime “leaves no doubt about her murderous intent.”

“The defendant did not want to ruin the face of Joanna [the victim], she ruined her life,” Mastrantonakis continued.

“When she threw the acid in her face, she accepted that it could be inhaled, swallowed, find its way to her trachea, and kill her,” he said, adding: “it was revenge that accepted the risk of death.”

Kakarantzoula claimed during the trial that she had no intent of killing Paliospirou.

She explained that stalked Paliospirou after suspecting her of dating a man with whom she had embarked on a sexual relationship in 2018.

She admitted to going to significant lengths to procure vitriol to the survivor’s place of work in an office building, saying she paid a man she met outside a shop in downtown Athens to get it for her.

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