Alban Avelino John Barros D’SaBMJ 2015; 350 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.h2485 (Published 11 May 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;350:h2485
- Sonia H Barros D’Sa, Ian J Barros D’Sa
Alban Avelino John Barros D’Sa was born in Nairobi, Kenya, to a Goan Catholic family. The family later moved to Kisumu, a port on Lake Victoria, where Alban was educated and completed his O level examinations in December 1953.
Alban had an ambition to become a doctor from the age of only 5. However, the economic circumstances of his family were such that he was not able to pursue this passion initially, but, doing what he believed in above all, he placed his family above his own needs. Rather than to pursue his dream, he therefore went to Nairobi Teacher Training College after his O levels and started working as a teacher at the age of 18 years and one month—to keep the family afloat. He started supporting his parents immediately, and he cared for his mother until she died at age 89 in 1998. He supported his brothers and sisters through their education, including two brothers who were studying in Britain; this was made more difficult as his own father was unable to continue working.
After five years of teaching, and only after his brothers and sisters had completed their studies, Alban was finally able to pursue his own, still cherished, dream of studying medicine. His determination and passion to become a doctor were such that he was prepared to negotiate any obstacle. UK medical schools insisted on a second language at O level, which he did not have: so, while he was applying to do A levels, …