Army veteran from Kings Park thanks staff at Stony Brook University Hospital for saving him from stroke

Dr. David Fiorella and his team took over quickly before severe damage could be done.

News 12 Staff

Nov 16, 2022, 3:49 AM

Updated 579 days ago


An Army veteran is back home after being treated for a stroke he suffered on Veterans Day.
Joseph Annunziata, of Kings Park, says he felt weakness on the right side of his face and in his right hand while driving to the store.
"I said, 'I'm in trouble here,'" Annunziata says. "I turned the car around, went down to the VA."
Those at the VA recognized he was having a stroke and sent him to Stony Brook University Hospital.
Dr. David Fiorella and his team took over quickly before severe damage could be done.
"We already saw from the scans that were done when he got here that he was starting to accumulate some irreversible brain damage," Fiorella says
One of the main arteries supply blood to Annunziata's brain was completely blocked so doctors performed a unique procedure pioneered at Stony Brook to clear the obstructions.
Fiorella says when the Kings Park veterans woke up from the procedure he was basically 100% back to normal, which he says is a testament to how strong Annunziata is.
"The wonderful doctors, the surgeons, without them I know I wouldn't be here," Annunziata says. "Only thing I can say, it's got to be the good Lord upstairs. On that day, our day, your day, it's our country's day. It happened and here I am."
He says the medical staff used not only their medical skills, but also their hearts while operating on him.
Doctors say any kind of weakness or paralysis on one side of the body is a sign that someone could be having a stroke. They say it's important to get medical help right away because if the brain isn't getting oxygen it can deteriorate quickly.

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