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The 1980s was a very exciting time for research and innovation as it was the early stages of ventilation of premature babies. Professor Cooke was dedicated to achieving the healthy survival of these children who would benefit from his work for the rest of their lives.


At Liverpool, he encouraged the practice of administering antenatal steroids to mothers about to go into premature labour in order to give babies the best chance of healthy survival. He said: ‘People were very reluctant to give pregnant women steroids but it has proved a harmless and a very effective way of improving the survival of a premature baby. It almost halves the death rate.’


Professor Cooke started his career in adult medicine but soon became ‘disillusioned’ with it because ‘it’s very much organ based,’ he said, adding: ‘Children’s medicine at that time offered the opportunity to do everything. You feel like a proper


doctor if you can look after the whole patient.


‘I’ve always liked working with children, they are more interesting than babies because you can talk to them. I suppose my fascination with babies was physiological – how they work, what goes wrong and how you can put it right again.’ It’s just as well Professor Cooke likes children as he had four of his own – who have all now grown up and flown the nest. His eldest, Rachel, is a doctor in Australia; his son, Andrew, an animator in London; Frances is a petro-geologist working for an oil survey company in Australia and Rosie, his youngest, is studying English at Glasgow University. He retired earlier this year and moved into his late mother’s cottage in Crowthers Hill. ‘I like the friendliness of the place,’ he said. ‘You can walk along the quay and speak to more people in five minutes than you do in a month in Liverpool. I like the water because


I’ve had a sailing boat down here for a few years now.’ During his distinguished career, Professor Cooke has been president of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, the British Association for Perinatal Medicine, and the Neonatal Society. Today he holds the honorary title of Professor Emeritus at the University of Liverpool which gives him access to its electronic library and allows him to continue his medical research. He is looking forward to studying for a degree in medieval history, hopefully at Exeter University.


‘It’s


always been one of those things one has never had time to do.’ Professor Cooke has also developed an interest in coins, as a record of lives long past, a recent find being a coin from Lydia (now part of Turkey) dating back to 600BC. ‘It’s one of the oldest coins in the world: in those days Lydia was a Greek city state and the first to issue coinage’.•


If you are thinking of letting your property we will be delighted to hear from you.


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