Bahamian doctor talks about receiving life-saving surgery at Jackson Memorial Hospital

MIAMI (WSVN) - A doctor who’s used to treating people became a patient himself a year ago at a South Florida hospital and is now speaking out alongside the neurosurgeon who he credits with saving his life.

Dr. Glen Beneby was diagnosed with a rare condition that took his ability to walk and talk. A neurosurgeon at the University of Miami Health System at Jackson Memorial Hospital then stepped in to help.

Now Beneby said neurosurgeon Dr. Robert Starke saved his life.

“Dr. Starke, he’s my angel so to speak,” Beneby said. “He made this miracle possible with God’s help.”

Beneby was the chief medical officer in the Bahamas. In December of 2016, he suddenly collapsed and doctors there could not pinpoint what exactly he was suffering from in the brain.

Beneby’s wife Carol said he deteriorated quickly. “His communication was gone. He stopped smiling, stopped talking, and I realized he’s going to die if we don’t do something,” she said.

Beneby was then transferred to JMH in June 2017 where Starke took over. After he ran some tests, he knew immediately what the doctor was suffering from. Starke diagnosed Beneby with a rare vascular condition called cerebral dural arteriovenous fistula, and he knew how to fix it.

“When you look at those MRIs carefully, I could see really hundreds of abnormal tiny little vessels within the brain,” Starke said. “These white areas here were swelling in the brain, and this most recent MRI shows that all that swelling is basically resolved.”

Wednesday marks the nearly one year anniversary since the procedure, and Beneby is back to his usual self, according to his wife.

Nearly a year later Beneby is back to his normal self as his wife would say, alive and well.

“Following that surgery, I saw a rapid progress, coming back to normal in my husband,” she said. “It’s just amazing.”

Although a doctor himself, Beneby said it doesn’t make him immune to sickness, but all the more grateful for his life.

“I can dress now. I can tie my tie in five minutes, and I don’t have to get help with that,” Beneby said. “I am very pleased.”

Beneby has started a project to provide this type of healthcare and these kinds of procedures to the Bahamas.

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