Dr. Kamel Fuad Muakkassa, a neurosurgeon whose passion, intellect and generosity changed the lives of everyone around him, died on Sunday at the age of 62.|
Dr. Muakkassa, a supremely skilled neurosurgeon, had a zest for life so profound that it will live on in all those who had the privilege of knowing him. Dr. Muakkassa was married to the love of his life, Rola Mansour for 27 years. He enjoyed spending time with his wife, his children and grandchildren, upon whom he imparted many of his best qualities, including his giving nature, his unique love of life, his humor and his wit. Dr. Muakkassa mastered an extraordinarily wide range of talents and insisted on sharing his expertise by teaching those around him. Dr. Muakkassa's passions included bridge, golf, tennis, soccer, swimming, horseback riding, skiing, scuba diving, classical music, playing violin and piano, orchestral conducting, backgammon, bowling, board games, cooking, wine expertise, travel and international affairs. All of this was in addition to the undeniable impact of his life's work: his relentless clinical and humanitarian achievements in the world of neurosurgery.
As Primary Founder, President and CEO of The Center for Neuro and Spine Inc. (CNS) and former Chief of Pediatric Neurosurgery of Children's Hospital of Akron, Dr. Muakkassa was a Board Certified Neurological Surgeon who had been serving the community for over 27 years. He most recently co-founded Akron General's Neuroscience Institute in 2011, which focuses on the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitations of the disorders of the brain, spine and peripheral nervous system. Dr. Muakkassa performed more than 8,000 neurosurgical procedures and treated over 10,000 patients and had the uniquely broad background of addressing both pediatric and adult spine, brain and peripheral neurological disorders. Dr. Muakkassa advanced the treatment options in his community by being the very first surgeon in Akron to perform an Anterior Cervical Diskectomy with Fusion and Plating. Thousands of these surgeries are now performed here annually. Additionally, Dr. Muakkassa was the first surgeon to perform cutting-edge awake surgery for treating epilepsy patients at Akron General Medical Center back in 1986. Other firsts include placing pumps or spinal electrodes for pain management and spasticity, vagal nerve stimulators for depression and seizures and untethering complex spina bifida tumors.
Dr. Muakkassa graduated from The American University of Beirut with a degree in Medicine in 1974. He went on to complete his residency in General Surgery where he served as Chief Resident. Dr. Muakkassa continued his education with a residency program in Neurosurgery at The Upstate Medical Center in New York where he was again elected Chief Resident. Pursuing his pediatric interests, Dr. Muakkassa studied Pediatric Neurology at Strong Memorial Hospital and completed his Pediatric Neurosurgery fellowship at the prestigious Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto where he served as Chief Fellow.
Dr. Muakkassa most recently served as Associate Clinical Professor in Neurosurgery at Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine (presently NEOMED). He also served as Chief of the Neurosurgery division at Barberton Citizens Hospital and Mercy Medical Center. He is published in peer review journals and received multiple awards including the Summit County Award of Excellence for Outstanding Medical Services to the Community, Teacher of the Year Award and the award for medical services to the Bosnian war victims. He was also a member of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS), the Congress of Neurosurgeons (CNS), Summit County Medical Society, Ohio State Medical Association, International Society of Pediatric Neurosurgery, Ohio State Neurological Society and the Joint Section on Neuro-trauma and Critical Care of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons.
In addition to his professional accomplishments, Kamel devoted considerable time and resources to charitable organizations. Most notably, he was president of the Druze Orphans and Charitable Organization, which provides housing, education and healthcare to Lebanese children in need.
He is survived by his wife, Rola Mansour; his son, Fuad; his daughter, Leila Muakkassa and husband Wassim Kheireddine; his brother, Dr. Wael Muakkassa and wife Rima Himadeh Muakkassa; his brother, Dr. Farid Muakkassa and wife Dr. Rima Ghosn Muakkassa; his sister, Dr. Sahar Muakkassa; his sister, Dr. Samar Muakkassa Kelly and husband Dr. Peter Kelly; his sister, Majd Muakkassa Abu-Izzeddin and husband Faisal Abu-Izzeddin; his grandson, Bassel Kheireddine; his granddaughter, Elle Kheireddine; his eight nephews Omar, Naji, Camille, Kareem and Ryan Muakkassa, Roger Kelly, Dr. Christopher Kelly, Jad Abu-Izzeddin; his two nieces, Dr. Nora Muakkassa and Linda Muakkassa; his brother-in-law, Ramzi Mansour; his sister-in-law, Rania Mansour Abou Chakra and husband Ayman Abou Chakra and their children, Ghazi and Rola Abou Chakra.
Calling hours will be held at Catavolos Funeral Home at 3653 West Market Street, Akron, Ohio 44333. Please check tomorrow's paper for date and time. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the following organizations: Druze Orphans and Charitable Organization at P.O. Box 1433, New York, NY 10018,
Published in Akron Beacon Journal on May 14, 2012