Patients praise HSA’s new neurosurgeon for life-changing procedures
The Health Services Authority’s (HSA) new neurosurgeon, Dr. Dwaine Cooke, has been on a roll, performing several life-saving surgeries and earning the respect and support of his patients who have been delighted with the quality of care that he and the staff have provided.
Speaking about his experience, one patient, Andre Yates said:
Many years of lower back trauma and a slip and fall in January 2022 left me in pain and leaning to one side. Eventually, I could no longer work or concentrate.
Mr Yates was referred to Dr Cooke who recommended spine surgery.
“(Before the operation) Dr Cooke sat down with me to make sure my employer’s request was met and even called me to check in,” Mr Yates explained.
Mr. Yates was impressed and grateful for the level of care, respect and professionalism shown to him by the doctor and staff.
Several weeks have passed since my operation and I am recovering, mostly without pain. Dr. Cooke and the HSA team have done an excellent job; they provided care with a holistic approach to my needs.
Mr. Yates continued.
Mr Yates mentioned that he had told many other people about his experience and recommended that they see Dr Cooke when needed.
André Yates, HSA patient
Another patient, Wainford Selvin, recalled narrowly avoiding a car accident after suffering a seizure in traffic.
Sharing his traumatic experience, Mr. Selvin said:
I had my first seizure while driving near a red light in George Town. Fortunately, I had a friend in the passenger seat who helped me and guided me home safely. That same day I had three more seizures and I had stiffness in my neck and uncontrollable twitching in my body. It was then that my family members had to call an ambulance.
Mr Selvin was soon introduced to Dr Cooke, who explained he had a 2.5 inch brain tumor and recommended brain tumor removal surgery.
“Since the surgery and to date, I’m 100% back to normal,” Mr Selvin said. “Dr. Cooke and his team did a perfect job on me, and I would recommend anyone to him. His personality and professionalism put us and my family at ease and we were very comfortable with him, which made the operation much easier.
More recently, Dr. Cooke performed a life-saving procedure on a patient who had fallen into a coma and suffered from a saccular aneurysm, also known as a berry aneurysm, a rounded sac containing blood attached to a main artery or one of its branches and usually found on the arteries at the base of the brain. Over time, the pressure from the aneurysm on the already weak arterial wall can cause the aneurysm to rupture, causing blood to move from the artery into the brain, which can lead to death.
Dr. Cooke performed a post-aneurysm cut, successfully awakening the patient from a coma. The patient is currently in rehabilitation.
Dr. Cooke performed thousands of surgeries prior to his tenure at HSA. He received his medical degree from the University of the West Indies-Mona, Jamaica, where he obtained a Bachelor of Medicine and a Bachelor of Surgery after receiving numerous honors and distinctions. He received his MD in Neurosurgery from the University of the West Indies-Mona as well as a Fellowship in Neurosurgery from Halifax Health Sciences, Nova Scotia, Canada. He also completed a Fellowship in Epilepsy Surgery at Yale Hospital New Haven, Connecticut, USA.
He has worked as a Neurosurgeon in Jamaica at Kingston Public Hospital (KPH), Bustamante Children’s Hospital (BCH), Andrew’s Memorial and Medical Associates Hospital. His position as a neurosurgeon allowed him to perform groundbreaking neurosurgical procedures and train residents and medical students.
He was co-head of the epilepsy surgery program at KPH and BCH, where he established an epilepsy surgery program and began the multidisciplinary management of potential surgical treatment of drug-resistant epilepsy candidates. drugs, the first of its kind in the English-speaking Caribbean. He was the Caribbean representative of the Young Epilepsy Section (International League Against Epilepsy) and is currently Vice President of the Epilepsy Society of the Caribbean. He is also a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons.
“Neurosurgery is my passion. Although brain and spinal cord operations involve many complex procedures, I perform each operation with precision, patience, skill, temperance and with my patient’s future in mind,” Dr. Cooke said. “It is a pleasure to join the SAH medical team. I am touched by the positive feedback I have received from my patients and colleagues.
Dr. Cooke treats several diseases affecting the brain and spine, including tumors and infections, head trauma, seizures, intracranial bleeding and swelling, degenerative spinal diseases, such as herniated disc, pain back and nerve pain. He specializes in epilepsy surgery, which aims to surgically remove tumors and other causes of seizures that do not respond to regular treatment.
Prior to joining the HSA, Dr Cooke led a medical team that successfully performed breakthrough brain surgery in June 2020 on a patient at Kingston Public Hospital who had a tumor sitting on the brain above the area who controls speech. He and his team performed the operation with the patient fully awake, allowing them to communicate with her throughout the procedure. The result was the successful preservation of the patient’s speech and ability to sing.
“We are delighted to welcome Dr. Cooke whose talent, experience and reputation precedes him,” said Medical Director Dr. Delroy Jefferson. “Adding neurosurgery to our extensive and ever-growing list of specialty services is a benefit to our patients and the Cayman community who can get the treatment they need here on the island rather than having to be referred abroad.”