Family welcomes lifesaving doc

Published 6:54 pm Saturday, June 3, 2017

Suffolk welcomed a doctor on Saturday who had performed something of a miracle for a local young woman.

Christine Parrish and her son Daniel Parrish of the Parrish Real Estate Team held their annual client appreciation party at Christine’s residence in North Suffolk on Saturday. Its King-of-the-Hole cornhole tournament and tables for client craft sales help raise money for charity.

“This is gonna be a big one, and I’m very excited,” Daniel said.

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Dr. Magnus Ekedede was the guest of honor at the event. He flew into Suffolk from the Bahamas with his wife Rebeca, along with their 17-year-old daughter Daniela and 15-year-old son Magnus David.

“I was stunned when I saw all the preparations,” Ekedede said. “It’s such a wonderful family. They’re good people.”

Ekedede is the chief neurological surgery consultant at Princess Margaret Hospital and Doctors Hospital in Nassau. Considered the “guardian of Nassau” by some, he was the surgeon who received Daniel’s fiancé Brittany Hutchison on the day of her horrific accident in April.

“He saved my life,” Brittany said.

Hutchison had been on vacation in the Bahamas when, on April 5, she lost control of her scooter while turning down a road in Nassau and collided with a jeep.

Her femur was broken, along with her wrist and bones in her face, and she had incurred severe brain trauma.

“She was very close to dying,” Ekedede said.

He treated clots, bruising, contusions and hemorrhages throughout her brain. A portion of Hutchison’s skull had to be removed for the treatment, and it was then stitched under the skin of her abdomen to keep it viable until she could get to a facility in Virginia, Ekedede said.

Then it was just a matter of crossing fingers and waiting for the swelling to go down. Ekedede said Hutchison was awake and aware days later.

“She made a remarkable turnaround,” He said.

Ekedede is co-founder, with Matthew Mitchell, of the Mitchell Ekedede Brain Injury Foundation, which has the goal of reducing brain injury in the Bahamas by 33 percent within 10 years.

The foundation was started when Mitchell’s son Demont was in a car accident that left him with severe brain injury in 2012. Mitchell said they can achieve their goals by raising public awareness on the different kinds of brain injuries and methods for both prevention and treatment.

“Many simply don’t know the things that need to be done to prevent brain injury,” Mitchell said.

Ekedede and Mitchell are determined to build a state-of-the-art rehabilitation facility in Nassau. This $20 million to $25 million project is meant to be the principal rehabilitation center in the Caribbean and a facility for American rehabilitation patients to receive care at a fraction of the costs in the U.S., Mitchell said.

“It’s meant to be the crown jewel of what we do,” he said.

Ekedede said it’s the “dream of his life” to raise enough money to build the facility, so that patients may recover as well as Brittany did through her own rehabilitation stateside.

“Even though you save a life like Brittany’s, she still would not have a good life if she did not have good rehab,” Ekedede said.

The foundation was the beneficiary of the money raised at the Parrish’s this year, and the families will continue to support the foundation going forward.

“It’s a really nice, happy ending,” Ekedede said. “I hope Brittany continues to do great.”

Hutchison plans to go back to teaching at Crittenden Middle School in Newport News this fall. She and Daniel Parrish will be married in June 2018.

“I’m just so thankful for everybody’s support,” Daniel said.

Brittany’s father Buddy was at the Saturday event to shake Ekedede’s hand. A command senior enlisted leader for the U.S. Northern Command in Colorado Springs, Colo., he gave Ekedede a challenge coin he gives to colleagues for excellent work.

“There’s so much more I’d love to able to give him,” Buddy said. “How do you repay someone for saving your daughter’s life?”