Patient Testimonials


At Stony Brook Neurosciences Institute, the accuracy of your diagnosis, success of your treatment, level of comfort and care, recovery time and ongoing management and support of your condition or disease are our highest priorities. Our approach is collaborative, and our multidisciplinary team of specialists aims to work with you and your family during all aspects of your experience. Our care philosophy includes compassion and mutual understanding, where you and your family member(s) play an active role and are a partner with the healthcare team in your care.

Specifically, our model of Patient and Family Centered Care is founded on four core concepts. The first is that patients - and all people - should be treated with only the utmost respect and dignity. Second, it is the healthcare provider's responsibility to communicate and share complete and unbiased information with the patient and his or her family in supportive ways. Third, patients and families are encouraged to participate in their care and relevant decision-making at a level with which they are comfortable. Finally, the goal is healthy collaboration among patients, families, and providers regarding the appropriate treatment plan for you.

The integration of these concepts involves a long-term commitment to our patients and their families. Our model has its roots in many disciplines that states that health involves not only illness, but many other factors. We strongly believe in an atmosphere of shared decision-making and empowerment. This ensures that your voice will be heard, no matter your age, background, or stage of care.


Nicole Perry, March 2022
Stroke survivor / mechanical thrombectomy performed by Dr. David Fiorella

Thanks to a caring friend who urged her to go to the hospital, a quick thinking emergency department nurse at Stony Brook Southampton Hospital, and Dr. David Fiorella and his team at the Stony Brook Cerebrovascular Center, this chef and owner of Catering by A Small Affair in East Quogue is alive and well, enjoying life to the fullest again. 

“After my husband died last July, 2021, I threw myself into my work. I’m a chef. I own a catering company in East Quogue, and my husband was also my business partner. Soon, the pressure of having all these weddings to cater each weekend without him at my side started to get to me. Then one weekend in September, I woke up around 5 am to bake 30 cakes for a wedding. Before long, I started to see spots in front of my eyes, my words were coming out slurred and I felt dizzy. I called my neighbor, Mary, who’s a nurse and she came over right away with a blood pressure machine. My blood pressure was over 200! She kept telling me I needed to go to the hospital because I could be having a stroke, and I kept saying that I had a lot to do and no time to go the hospital. It wasn’t until she said, “None of this will matter if you die, Nicole!” that the seriousness of it all sunk in.

Mary rushed me to Stony Brook Southampton Hospital, where she explained to the people in the Emergency Department that I’d had a stroke. A CT scan confirmed this and the nurse there told me that time was of the essence and that they would be transferring me to Stony Brook University Hospital where there was a Neuro ICU.

Then, on my way to Stony Brook University Hospital, I had another stroke! The next thing I remember is waking up in the hospital. I learned that Dr. David Fiorella had performed a mechanical thrombectomy in my carotid artery. He had saved my life! I have to say, the care I got at Stony Brook was phenomenal. And over the next two weeks in the hospital, this wonderful nurse, Jose, helped me with my walking every day. He was so gentle and kind. All of the nurses were great, but he really stood out. They all made sure I was physically able to do occupational, physical and speech therapy before I left. I worked really hard and on October 1st, I was discharged to a rehabilitation center.

When it came time for my three-month follow up visit, I couldn’t wait to meet Dr. Fiorella. When I saw him, I gave him the biggest hug and he said, “You made my day!” And I told him, “Are you kidding? You made my life!”  

When I look at the MRI of my brain activity during the stroke and then after the surgery, I’m amazed. During the stroke it was totally blank. And on the MRI after the surgery, you can see all the arteries. Dr. Fiorella is a genius. And he made my 27-year old daughter so happy that she still has her mother. She and I have been doing so many fun things together since I recovered from my stroke. I feel great. I exercise, walk, do yoga and Pilates. I’m baking cakes again and that makes me feel like the person I was before the stroke. I could never repay Dr. Fiorella. He gave me a second chance at life.”  — Nicole Perry


Tricia Restivo Saur, January 2022
Stroke survivor /mechanical thrombectomy performed by Dr. David Fiorella

While visiting her family on Long Island, this resident of Germany was at the beach with family when her 13-year old daughter noticed something wasn’t right and told her father who recognized stroke symptoms and told Tricia’s parents to call 9-1-1.

 “The stars were aligned that day. My daughter’s intuition and my husband’s awareness of stroke symptoms, being within the service area of the Mobile Stroke Unit Program, and that Dr. Fiorella was on service that day. As a dear friend said, I am the luckiest stroke patient.” —  Tricia Restivo Saur



Hello Dr. Kowalska and Maureen,

I just wanted to reach out and thank you both for being so kind to my father and to me when I would contact you for help and guidance. We were all blown away by the level of care that the neurology team had provided him through the worst and most heartbreaking experience of our lives. He felt so comforted by your care specifically and appreciated your empathy and kind bedside manner as did I. I always felt like he was your only patient, and can't thank you enough for taking the time out of your busy days to make us feel that way. It's been a long 2 years, thank you for all of your patience and help. He passed Tuesday peacefully with his children by his side and I thank you so much for helping us to get him there comfortably.

Kindest regards, K.M. February 2016


Dear Dr. Guy Schwartz,

Your caring and compassionate treatment for my husband, Will, gave our family two additional years with him. I know the residual effect of the stroke added a new dimension to the treatment of Will's Parkinson's disease. The left sided paralysis/weakness, spastic left: hand, and seizures were difficult to treat.

To paraphrase Eleanor Roosevelt;

Many people will walk in and out of your life,

but only a few will leave footprints on your heart

You have left your footprints on our hearts for all you have done for Will. Please continue your good work with Parkinson’s disease, and I hope Will's case will help you in the treatment of other Parkinson’s disease patients.

Linda Condon, 2015