Education minister released from Cayman hospital, heading to Florida

Education Minister Michael Browne

Michael Browne, education minister, has made a very quick turnaround regarding his health and has been released from Healthcity Hospital in the Cayman Islands.

This comes mere hours after he was flown out of Antigua and received in that country for treatment for chest pains and heart complications.

This is according to the post Cabinet press notes sent last evening by the government’s Chief of Staff Lionel ‘Max’ Hurst.

He wrote, “The Minister of Health gave an update on Minister Michael Browne who was flown to the Cayman Islands on an air ambulance. He has been released and will fly to Miami, Florida, where he will undergo additional tests at Baptist Memorial Hospital.”

The chief of staff said the nation will be kept informed on the minister’s condition.

Meanwhile, a­­­­ message sent by the Minister of Education to his colleagues, confirms he traveled to the  Cayman Islands and was seen at Healthcity Hospital. 

In the lengthy message to a group chat with his colleagues, which was shared by one of them with OBSERVER media yesterday, Browne says, “PM, Minister Joseph, colleagues,  GM. I have arrived safely to Healthcity Hospital in Cayman. Thank you so much for keeping me in your thoughts and prayers, especially at this time and particularly during the recent developments.”

He then details that he took four aspirins on Monday before leaving work at the Ministry and went home to rest “because a familiar (1997, 2006 and 2013) combination of pains were gripping the left side of my chest running to my shoulder blades and under the arm.”

The message said he took the tablets because it was what his doctors in the U.S. recommended in the past, and over the years, it seemed to work.

But, “Monday night was different! The pains attacked my chest with purposeful, punishing anger! I immediately called Dr. Duncan! His tone alone pressed home that I had little time to seek medical attention.”

The minister said he drove himself to Mount St. John’s Medical Centre where he started receiving treatment. He was quickly taken to the Intensive Care Unit.

He said that the ordeal was terrible, and as he slipped in and out of consciousness, he was “glad there were no sharp objects in my reach because I was ready to cut out the entire portion of my chest just to be rid of the pain.”

The minister described the doctors and the nurses there as phenomenal, “even during the injections directly into the stomach to arrest my rapidly deteriorating condition.

And he added that he remembers thanking the Lord for life, asking forgiveness for his sins, and for guidance to the unknown journey he expected to follow. Identifying the Minister of Health, Molwyn Joseph by his cellular phone number, Browne wrote, “Your presence and expressed faith were  invaluable in strengthening my own faith. It wasn’t just that you were there and that you were actively involved, but you allowed yourself to be utilised as God’s instrument to bring back my mind on living, particularly at the moments that I was honestly ready to let go.”

Browne said that for this, he is eternally indebted to his colleague Joseph and thanked him for his unwavering support and for treating him as a “brother” or “son.

Minister Browne further thanked “Dr. Duncan, Dr. George, Dr. Belizaire, and the other two doctors, the sisters, nurses, technicians and orderlies [who] made it easier than experiences I’ve had in some well-respected hospitals overseas.”

“They are top-notched and second to none in the world. I fully intend to find each one and express my gratitude for the part they played,” he wrote.

 He continued, “Prime Minister, catching up on the chat-room, while waiting for the morphine to kick in, and seeing all that has been happening just today (Wednesday) alone, yet, you were present reassuring me this morning that it’s gonna be ok warms my heart. It means the world to myself and to my family. Thank you PM.”

The education ministerwas flown out of Antigua to the Cayman Islands between late Tuesday evening and early Wednesday morning, much later than expected, after the first Learjet 35 that arrived in Antigua to do the medical evacuation developed mechanical problems at the V.C. Bird International Airport and was grounded shortly after 2 p.m. Tuesday.

 Fresh efforts to get him out began immediately and another air ambulance from Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport was provided. That plane was scheduled to arrive in Antigua at 8:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Meanwhile, residents continue to offer prayers and well wishes for the minister’s speedy recovery.

Browne is the MP for All Saints West, where he was first elected in June 2014 and reelected in March 2018 when early general elections were held.

It’s his second term serving as a Member of Parliament under the Antigua Barbuda Labour Party administration and as minister of education.

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