By Paul Burton

BOSTON (CBS) – Nikoleta Maidou knows how to make a promise and keep it. Even if the promise is decades in the making.

“I will never stop devoting my time as a volunteer. As we say a volunteer is work from the heart,” Maidou said.

It all started when she was 12 years old living in Greece. She was diagnosed with a life threatening heart condition which required her to have immediate open heart surgery at Boston Children’s Hospital.

“I am very grateful that they figured out I had a problem when I was little kid. They were able to solve it even though I went through two open heart surgeries,” Maidou said.

Nikoleta Maidou with a Boston Children's Hospital patient (WBZ-TV)

Nikoleta Maidou with a Boston Children’s Hospital patient (WBZ-TV)

The experience gave her a second chance at life. She vowed when she was only 12 years old she would dedicate the rest of her life to helping children.

“Maybe it has to do with my heart situation because it changes my life as a kid,” Maidou said.

In 2012 she moved from Greece to Brookline to study human development at Hellenic College. For the last four years she’s dedicated her time to work with children and families at Boston Children’s Hospital.

“The promise was to come back and help the kids that are in pain and stressful situation,” Miadou said.

Child Life Specialist Leanne Rotman says Maidou has been a huge help to the children and families at the hospital.

“She’s always so active vibrant and engaging and loves what she does with the children,” Rotman said.

Maidou has gone from patient to volunteer and the connection she shares is personal, uplifting and heartfelt.

“It’s like my soul feels nice. I like to give love to the little kids. I just give to them to give love and my time,” Maidou said.

Paul Burton


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