How Northwell Hospital doctors saved Rego Park storm chaser who suffered ‘terrifying’ stroke at home

(Photo courtesy of Northwell Health)

Northwell Hospital revealed on Thursday, Dec. 8, that their doctors were able to revive a Rego Park storm chaser who suffered a stroke in May.

Scott McPartland, 50, suffered a stroke on May 18 while at home. Video footage from inside the home revealed that McPartland was vacuuming when he suffered the stroke that nearly took his life.

“I just remember that I was vacuuming, and all of sudden, I was on the ground,” McPartland said. “At first I thought was having an anxiety attack. It seemed that I was on the ground for about four seconds when it was 23, which we know because of the video footage. It was terrifying to realize that I lost the ability to speak. Thankfully, my wife and brother-in-law got me to Long Island Forest Hills Hospital. All I remember is that it felt like I was being locked inside my own head.”

McPartland stated that his wife and brother-in-law were able to get him to LIJ Forest Hills. It was there that Northwell Health specialists discovered that the cause of McPartland’s stroke was due to a heart defect that could have ended his life. 

“When tPA is administered within one hour of a stroke, what we call ‘The Golden Hour,’ the medicine has the potential to save vital brain cells and reduce disability,” said Dr. Rohan Arora. “In Mr. McPartland’s case, the fact that was realized it was important to get to the hospital and receive treatment enabled him to have a quicker recovery. Almost immediately, his speech disturbance was on the mend.”

Further testing revealed that McPartland had a blockage of a major blood vessel in the brain that required microsurgical clot removal. He was then transferred to the comprehensive stroke center at North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset for more testing, where doctors made another discovery.

“Further testing, including specialized echo/ultrasound tests of the heart, revealed a patent foramen ovale, or PFO — a ‘hole in the heart’ — that connects the right heart chamber to the left heart chamber,” said Avneet Singh, MD, a Northwell interventional cardiologist. “But when the hole does not close properly, there will be a problem.”

“I give Mr. McPartland all the credit for coming to the hospital at the right time,” Singh added. “Most people never need treatment for PFO, but they become important if you have a problem with blood clots.”

On Aug. 8, McPartland would undergo cardiac catheterization, a procedure at LIJ Medical Center to close his PFO. He was able to go home that same night.

His complete his recovery went so well that McPartland was able to celebrate his 50th birthday in Florida, where he captured video of Hurricane Ian.

On the four-month anniversary of his lifesaving procedure, McPartland and his wife returned to LIJ to thank the doctors who saved his life.

“I never imagined that I’d be able to be back at work just a few weeks after undergoing this procedure,” Scott McPartland said. “It was a 50th birthday that I’ll never forget. In the end, all I can say about what I’ve learned is that we should never ignore what our body is telling us. If it doesn’t feel right, it’s not right. That’s the lesson here.”