(CMR) Can you imagine driving and having a seizure? That was the experience of Weinford Selvin, who had a seizure at a stoplight in George Town, narrowly escaping an accident.
“Luckily, I had a friend in the passenger seat who assisted and guided me home safely. That same day, I had three more seizures and was experiencing stiffness in my neck and uncontrollably twitching of my body. That's when members of my household had to call an ambulance,” Mr. Selvin recalled.
He was introduced to HSA's neurosurgeon Dr. Dwaine Cooke who later explained that he had a 2.5-inch brain tumor and recommended that he have surgery to remove it.
“Since the surgery, and to this day, I'm 100 percent back to normal. Dr. Cooke and his crew did a perfect job on me, and I would recommend anyone to him. His personality and professionalism put both me and my family at ease, and we were very comfortable with him, which made undergoing surgery much easier,” Mr. Selvin added.
This pleasant experience is shared by all of Dr. Cooke's patients here in the Cayman Islands and even those before he joined the HSA. He has performed thousands of lifesaving surgeries, including a recent surgery that woke a patient in a coma suffering from a saccular aneurysm. Dr. Cooke performed a post aneurysm clipping, successfully waking the patient from the coma. The patient is now undergoing rehabilitation.
Dr. Cooke has done thousands of surgeries before his tenure at the HSA. He received his medical degree from the University of the West Indies- Mona, Jamaica, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, having received numerous honors and distinctions. Dr. Cooke earned his Doctor of Medicine in Neurosurgery at the University of the West Indies-Mona and an Enfolded Fellowship in Neurosurgery at the Halifax Health Sciences, Nova Scotia, Canada. He also completed an Epilepsy Surgery Fellowship at Yale New Haven Hospital, Connecticut, USA.
He worked as a neurosurgeon in Jamaica at the 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 served as Joint Head of the Epilepsy Surgery Programme at KPH and BCH, where he established an epilepsy surgery program and commenced the multidisciplinary management of potential surgical treatment of drug-resistant epilepsy candidates, the first of its kind in the English-speaking Caribbean.
He has served as the Caribbean representative of the Young Epilepsy Section (International League Against Epilepsy) and presently serves as the 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 operating on the brain and spinal cord involves many complex procedures, I perform every surgery with precision, patience, skill, temperance, and with my patient's future in mind,” noted Dr. Cooke. “It's a pleasure to join the medical team at the HSA. I am touched by the positive feedback I've received from my patients and colleagues.”
Dr. Cooke treats multiple diseases affecting the brain and spine, including tumors and infections, head injuries, seizures, intracranial bleeding and swelling, and degenerative diseases of the spine, such as a slipped disc, back pain, and nerve pain. He specializes in epilepsy surgery, which seeks to surgically remove tumors and other causes of seizures that are unresponsive to regular treatment.
Before joining the HSA, Dr. Cooke led a medical team that successfully performed groundbreaking brain surgery in June 2020 on a patient at the Kingston Public Hospital who had a tumor sitting on the brain over the area that controls speech. He and his team performed the surgery with the patient fully awake, allowing them to communicate with her throughout the procedure. The outcome was the successful preservation of the patient's speech and her ability to sing.
“We are delighted to welcome Dr. Cooke, whose talent, experience, and reputation precedes him,” stated Medical Director Dr. Delroy Jefferson. “The addition of neurosurgery to our extensive and continuously growing list of specialist services is a benefit to our patients and the Cayman community who can get the treatment they need here on island rather than having to be referred overseas.”