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For Immediate Release:
April 28, 2017
Media Contact:
Kai Hill
Jennifer Piedra


May is National Stroke Awareness Month

To kick off Stroke Awareness Month in May, three stroke survivors will be reunited with fire rescue crew members from the City of Miami and Miami-Dade County, along with the UHealth – University of Miami Health System and Jackson Memorial Hospital doctors and nurses, who saved their lives. They will share their stories of survival and the progress they have made since their strokes.

Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death and a leading cause of adult disability in the United States, according to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. On average, someone in the U.S. suffers a stroke every 40 seconds; someone dies of a stroke every four minutes; and 795,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year. Among those survivors:

Carlos Fox, age 44: Carlos Fox always considered himself healthy – he routinely exercised and wasn’t overweight. But in October 2015, while at the Miami Springs office where he works as a realtor, Fox suddenly lost control of the left side of his body and fell to the ground. A co-worker found him on the floor and called 911. When Miami-Dade Fire Rescue arrived, one of the paramedics recognized that Fox, whose speech was slurred, was suffering from a stroke. They rushed him to Jackson Memorial Hospital. Within minutes of Fox arriving to the emergency department, Jackson doctors administered IV tPA, a medication that dissolves blood clots. Soon after, Dileep Yavagal, MD, FSVIN, FAN, FAHA, UHealth director of interventional neurology and co-director of endovascular neurosurgery at Jackson Memorial Hospital, performed a thrombectomy, a procedure to remove a large clot. Immediately following the procedure, Fox regained movement on the left side of his body. The ability to walk and talk normally followed soon after. Because of the early intervention, Fox suffered no permanent, devastating effects from the stroke. “The attention I got at Jackson was unbelievable,” he said. “I was blessed to be taken there.”

Enrique Montero, 78: In November 2012, Enrique Montero recalls suddenly feeling dizzy so he went to bed to rest. But when his wife returned home from work, she found him in bed, unable to speak coherently. She immediately called 911 and City of Miami Fire Rescue transported him to the emergency department at Jackson Memorial Hospital. While there, his symptoms worsened – he stopped following commands and the right side of his face began drooping. Tests revealed he was having a stroke. Montero was rushed to the neuro interventional radiology suite, where Dr. Yavagal successfully performed a thrombectomy to remove the blood clot in his brain. After a short stay in the hospital, Montero was discharged home and fully recovered. Montero says he is grateful to the Jackson team that saved his life.

Vikram Singh, 37: In June 2007, Vikram Singh was brushing teeth and suddenly fell down. He called for his roommate, who realized something was terribly wrong. Singh, 27 at the time, had no feeling on the left side of his body. Minutes after dialing 911, City of Miami Fire Rescue arrived to Singh’s Brickell apartment. He was rushed to the Jackson Memorial Hospital emergency department, where he was given IV tPA. Tests revealed the Singh had a hole in his heart since birth, which caused a blood clot to travel from his heart to his brain, triggering a stroke. To reverse the symptoms, Dr. Yavagal performed a minimally invasive procedure in the neuro interventional radiology suite to bust the blood clot. Almost immediately, Singh said, feeling was restored on the left side of his body. Now 37, Singh, a research analyst, feels grateful to the medical team at Jackson Memorial for saving his life.  

Jackson Memorial Hospital is part of an elite group of health care organizations focused on highly-specialized stroke care. Jackson Memorial is one of just five nationally recognized, state-certified Comprehensive Stroke Centers in Florida, offering a wide range of specialties around-the-clock for the most complex strokes.

Since 2015, the new standard of care treatment for paralyzing strokes is to emergently perform catheter surgery, mechanical thrombectomy, to rapidly open the blocked artery in the brain along with or without the clot busting medication tPA. This is most effective within the first six to eight hours of stroke symptoms. UHealth physicians at Jackson Memorial Hospital are pioneers in South Florida and the nation in bringing mechanical thrombectomy from its very early stages of use in the mid-2000s, to being the widely recognized standard of care today.


Stroke survivors Carlos Fox, Vikram Singh, and Enrique Montero (Spanish-speaking)
Dileep Yavagal, MD, FSVIN, FAAN, FAHA, UHealth Director of Interventional Neurology and Co-Director of Endovascular Neurosurgery at Jackson Memorial Hospital
Jose Romano, MD, FAHA, FAAN, UHealth Professor of Clinical Neurology, Stroke Division Chief at Jackson Memorial Hospital
EMS Crews from City of Miami Fire Rescue and Miami-Dade Fire Rescue


To kick off Stroke Awareness Month in May, three stroke survivors will be reunited with fire rescue crew members from the City of Miami and Miami-Dade County, along with the UHealth – University of Miami Health System and Jackson Memorial Hospital doctors and nurses, who saved their lives.

When: May 01, 2017, 12:00 p.m.- 1:30 p.m.

Jackson Memorial Hospital
Ira Clark Diagnostic Treatment Center, Room 270
On the corner of N.W. 12th Avenue and 19th Street
Miami, FL 33136

Editor's Note:

Media can park in front of the Clark DTC.

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Jackson Health System
1611 N.W. 12th Avenue Miami, FL 33136