One of Britain’s leading cancer doctors who saved the lives of countless patients has died – at the age of just 38.
Dr Ashley Cooper, who worked at Kent and Canterbury Hospital, was one of the most respected consultants in the UK and an advisor the the government.
The father-of-two Ashley suffered a cardiac arrest in the night at his family home in Bridge, Kent, on December 16.
His wife of 11 years Clare, 40, desperately tried to revive him before paramedics arrived and rushed him to K&C Hospital.
But Dr Cooper failed to regain consciousness despite the efforts of intensive care doctors and died six days later on December 22.
His death is mystery as Dr Cooper had no history of heart problems and the post mortem failed to find any underlying problems.
Dr Cooper’s wife Clare yesterday (Thurs) said she wants to “shout from the roof tops 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 roof tops 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 healthy.”
Family, friends and colleagues – including Dr Cooper’s two children Genevieve, nine, and eight-year-old Cyrus, gathered on Wednesday for a memorial service at Bridge church.
And hundreds of mourners attended his funeral at Barham Crematorium on Saturday.
An inquest has been opened and adjourned into Dr Copper’s death while further tests are carried out.
Dr Cooper had worked for the East Kent Hospitals University Foundation Trust since 2006.
He 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.
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, and the Dermatology Council for England.
He was also an elected Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and sat on the Melanoma Taskforce, which advised the government of tackling skin cancer.
Outside work he had many interests including martial arts, computers, technology, music and cars.