Katarina was born in the Carpathian Mountains of Romania to a school professor and a secretary. She has one sibling, a younger sister. Growing up in the height of the Ceaucescu regime was difficult. Though her parents, Ekrem and Nina, were educated and clever with what little salary they received, it was a struggle to obtain the basic necessities of life when Ceaucescu exported most of them. Katarina met the man of her dreams while she was preparing for examinations for entry into university. She desired to become a dentist. They would marry while she was in her third year of dental school. His name was Nicolae and he was the most handsome man Katarina had ever laid eyes upon. He had a very quiet and mysterious nature about him. But later, he would prove time and time again throughout their marriage to have a heart as cold as ice. Because of Ceaucescu's desire for a large work force, he encouraged having children and birth control was forbidden. The people were not eager to produce a work force under this communist dictator and abortions, dangerous and illegal, were rampant. Katarina would have painful abortions before and during her early years of marriage, one being self-induced. When she finished dental school, she would have a daughter, Nicola, that was the light and joy of her life. When Nicola was four-years-old, Nicolae hatched a plan to flee Romania and go to Switzerland. He persuaded a reluctant Katarina to leave with him and their daughter. When plans went awry at the border between Romania and Hungary, they came very close to being imprisoned or worse. They were able, in the last moment, to bribe their way out. Shortly after settling in Switzerland, Nicolae left Katarina for another woman. Devastated, with no family or country, Katarina fought to rebuild a life for herself and Nicola. Years later, after many years of hard work, trials and tribulations, Katarina became a successful dentist with her own practice and sent Nicola to medical school in Australia. After the execution of Ceaucescu on Christmas day in 1989, Katarina was able to be reunited with her family, whom she had not seen in many years. Her daughter was also able to visit from Australia with the biggest surprise of all.