Detective receives top-notch stroke care from JFK University Medical Center – Network news, press releases



November 3, 2021

When Detective Roberta Harper, 49, struggled to sentence on June 27, 2021, she had no idea she would end up at JFK University Medical Center with a massive stroke. While at home talking to her mother, Roberta’s words became disorganized and her mother immediately called 911. As JFK EMS walked over and took her vital signs, her mother went over to her. also called Robert Schanzer, MD, Roberta’s cardiologist. He told his mother, and agreed with JFK EMS, that she should attend JFK University Medical Center, which was recently recognized by the American Heart and Stroke Association with the Get With The Guidelines Award for Care of high quality stroke with Gold Plus. , Target: Stroke’s Elite Honor Roll.

When Roberta approached the medical center with JFK EMS, she explained that she no longer felt any symptoms and could speak more clearly. “I was able to give the EMS team what I needed and I felt better. Based on my symptoms, the team said that I may have had a mini-stroke, but still needed to go to the hospital to be checked, ”Ms. Harper said.

At JFK University Medical Center, she was taken care of by the stroke and neurovascular center team. Under observation, she suddenly developed a sharp headache and became unresponsive. She had a basilar artery stroke, which is the deadliest type of stroke a person can have. The stroke alert was activated immediately and the stroke team, led by Sponzai Panezai, MD was able to diagnose her within seconds based on her symptoms. Without any delay, she was rushed for an urgent mechanical thrombectomy performed by Siddhart Mehta MD and his team. They were able to remove the clot from the basilar artery within minutes, resulting in an immediate reversal of a potentially massive stroke. This critical procedure can only be performed at a comprehensive stroke center like JFK University Medical Center.

“Dr. Mehta is so approachable and really spent time with me and spoke directly with my other doctors. I was truly blessed to have Dr. Mehta, Dr. Schanzer, Dr. Panezai, Dr. Sean Scarpello and Dr. Abdallah Amireh in my team, as well as all of the neurocritical nurses at JFK University Medical Center, ”Ms. Harper said.

Roberta had a history of a heart murmur and Dr Mehta recommended closing the hole in her heart. This would greatly reduce his risk of a future stroke. His cardiologist, Dr Schanzer, agreed with Dr Mehta and his closure surgery was performed.

“Dr. Mehta and his team had a wonderful bedside manner to me and my family. In law enforcement, especially in the homicide area, we give the family of our deceased the utmost respect no matter what. what happened. Dr Mehta has the same way. He always made us feel heard and taken care of throughout the process. I was in such good hands at JFK, “said Ms Harper.

Roberta and her mother noticed the signs and symptoms of a stroke and immediately called 911 at the first sign. JFK EMS was there within minutes which helped her get the care she needed and ultimately save her life.

Four months later, Roberta is doing well and receiving speech and stroke recovery therapy at the JFK Johnson Rehabilitation Institute, which was recently named by US News and World Report as one of the top 30 rehabilitation hospitals. of the country, also located on the campus of JFK Medical Center.

The Neuroscience Institute at JFK University Medical Center provides an exceptional standard of comprehensive and specialized inpatient and outpatient care for patients with neurovascular disease. This care is provided as part of a coordinated and multidisciplinary approach and involves the use of the most current and effective treatment strategies. These protocols are performed by experts in the fields of vascular neurology, neurocritical care, neurointerventional surgery, neurological nursing, emergency medicine, pulmonary medicine, critical care medicine, neuroradiology, neurosurgery, anesthesiology and rehabilitation medicine.

The JFK Johnson Rehabilitation Institute Stroke Rehabilitation Program includes a team of expert physicians and clinicians certified in brain injury / stroke; extensive experience in managing complications associated with stroke; and the successful treatment of countless stroke survivors. The multidisciplinary stroke rehabilitation team includes: registered nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, neuropsychologists, rehabilitation psychologists, case managers, social workers, dietitians, recreational therapists, audiologists, a licensed driving specialist and vocational rehabilitation specialists.

For more information on stroke and the Neurovascular Center at JFK University Medical Center, visit: Stroke and Neurovascular Center – JFK University Medical Center (

The first step is to learn and recognize the symptoms of a stroke:

  • Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg (especially on one side of the body)
  • Sudden confusion, difficulty speaking or understanding speech
  • Sudden difficulty seeing in one or both eyes
  • Sudden difficulty walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
  • Sudden and severe headache with no known cause

The second step is to immediately call 9-1-1 and be transported by EMS to the nearest designated stroke center for rapid assessment and emergency treatment.



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