Shock as leading doctor Ashley Cooper, 38, dies at Kent and Canterbury Hospital
Dr Ashley Cooper died at
Kent and Canterbury Hospital after a cardiac arrest
by Gerry Warren
The sudden death of a 38-year-old doctor at the Kent and
Canterbury Hospital has shocked his family and colleagues.
Father-of-two Dr Ashley Cooper was one of the most respected
consultants in dermatology in the country and saved the lives of
numerous patients with skin cancer.
He suffered a cardiac arrest in the night at his family home in
Bridge, near Canterbury. His wife Clare tried to revive him before
Dr Cooper, pictured left, was rushed to
hospital, but despite the valiant efforts of intensive care staff
he never regained consciousness and died six days later.
Tests are being undertaken on what caused his heart to fail and
an inquest into his death has been opened.
His two children, Genevieve, nine, and eight-year-old Cyrus,
were among family members, friends and colleagues who gathered on
Wednesday for a memorial service at Bridge church.
Dr Cooper's wife Clare said she wants to "shout from the
rooftops about how great he was".
She said: "Eminent is the right word for Ashley. Last month he
was advising the government - for someone so young it was amazing
the stuff he did.
"There were thousands of people at his funeral. He was a good
egg. I want to shout from the rooftops about how great he was.
"We do not know why he had the cardiac arrest. They carried out
a post mortem - and they did all the tests as he was medical
royalty - but it did not find a cause of death. He was fit and
Martial arts fan Dr Cooper had worked for the East Kent
"I want to shout from the rooftops about how great he was…” – Clare Cooper
Foundation Trust since
2006 and was based at the K&C's Friends Dermatology Centre,
where he was held in high esteem by fellow doctors and patients for
his skill as a surgeon and his treatment of skin cancer.
He is credited with being a driving force in the development of
the Mohs Micrographic Surgery service in East Kent – one of few in
the UK – offering highly-specialised surgery for patients with
difficult skin cancers of the face.
But he also looked after patients with other skin problems,
treating thousands of people each year.
Colleagues say he was an enthusiastic educator, teaching
surgical skills all over the UK and supervising and acting as
programme director for trainee dermatologists.
He also developed patient information leaflets and surgical data
collection proformas which are used nationally and internationally
to improve patient care.
Kent and Canterbury
Dr Cooper was a member of many national bodies including the
specialist advisory committee to the Royal College of Physicians,
British Society for Dermatological Surgery, Dermatology Council for
England and the Melanoma Taskforce at the Houses of Parliament. He
was also an elected Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians.
Outside work he had many interests including martial arts,
computers, technology, music and cars.
Dr Cooper suffered the cardiac arrest in his sleep on December
16 and died in the K&C’s intensive care unit on December
Hundreds of mourners attended his funeral at Barham Crematorium
Did you know Dr Ashley Cooper? Leave your tributes below.
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