THE TOP floor of the Corte Inglés store in Santa Cruz was the setting of a special book launch and signing for the memoirs of long-time British Games Club member, Dr José Antonio de Vera Reyes.
José has long been a popular and much-loved member of the Tennis Section, always an enthusiastic and regular supporter of the annual tournaments and lunches.
Even at the age of 86 he turns up for the occasional game and still has the capacity to catch opponents by surprise with some vicious cross-court forehands.
Josés book, Un Niño Tinerfeño Que Logro Ser Médico, charts his life and career as one of the leading medical practitioners in Spain and a world pioneer in research on spinal cord stimulation, as well as in the application of intrathecal and intraventricular drugs to modulate chronic and malignant pain.
In a prologue to the book, one of José’s former colleague, Dr Francisco J Robaina Padron, writes: “I observed from my first contact with José Antonio that he conveyed a sense of control over his patients’ situation and that spinal and skull operations were much easier to perform than I had imagined.
“The level of neurosurgery in health service hospitals in the Canary Islands has reached very high levels thanks to having had in the beginning pioneers like José Antonio.”
After qualifying as a Bachelor of Medicine in Madrid, he later completed a double doctorate at the University of La Laguna, in Medicine and Philosophy.
He developed his special knoweldge in some of the worlds leading centres for neurosurgery, namely in Madrid, Oxford and Bristol.
In London he became a Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine and a Fellow of the World Neurosurgery Federation.
He returned to his native Tenerife to become regional head of Neurosurgery Services and was head of Neurosurgery at the University Hospital in Santa Cruz de Tenerife for 45 years.
He also founded the hospital’s specialist Pain Unit, while at a national level was a founding member of the Spanish Pain Society, of which he was also president for a number of years. He was also a founding and honorary member of the Atlantic Pain Forum.
His book is a delightful and gentle memoir, full of amusing anecdotes from his childhood and beyond.
Un Niño Tinerfeño Que Logro Ser Médico is published by Laertes and can be ordered through the publisher’s website. It is also on sale in Corte Ingles and other bookshops around the island.