My name is José Maia e Costa, and I am a Consultant in Paediatric Allergy.
I am Portuguese, though I was not born in Portugal.
My place of birth is to the north of Angola, where the film “Blood Diamonds” was made or, at least inspired by. This means I was born during the War that, after a couple of decades, led to the independence of Angola.
When my parents moved back to Portugal, I faced the Portuguese Revolution of 1974.
All the frequent bomb blasting, machine guns’ noises, and killings I have heard and witnessed led to my choice to become a Doctor and, later on, a Paediatrician.
Also, due to that, I was involved in a project at the Military Hospital in Coimbra, Portugal, to rescue mine injured children from Angola. With this, we did reconstructive surgeries, applied prostheses, involved physiotherapy and teachers so they could learn how to read and write.
One of the children I was involved with had become quite famous, as he was the one Lady Diana Spencer had on her lap when she visited Angola to see those children devastated by War.
Jumping forward a few years, after finishing my Medical Degree in Portugal, I decided to move to England and do my postgraduate training here.
It was mostly done at King’s College Hospital and the Evelina Children’s Hospital (part of St Thomas’ Hospital). There I had the pleasure of meeting and working with Prof Gideon Lack, Prof Adam Fox, Prof George du Toit, and Dr Helen Brough.
After many years of working in Paediatrics and leading several Paediatric Allergy Services in the NHS, I have decided to work privately and take more time to look after my son.
From my personal life, I am proud to be a single father of a 13 year old boy who has allergies to peanuts and tree nuts.
Rugby has always been my passion, and I played as a full-back and winger for nearly 14 years.
I am a keen diver and take the opportunity to do it when I am on holiday.
Last but not least, I proudly served in the Portuguese Cavalry for seven years, having left as a Lieutenant.