When sisters Angela and Filomena Lombardi of Lombardi restaurant fame noticed their father Filippo was losing dexterity and strength, they urged him to see a doctor. He shrugged off their concern, attributing his loss of mobility to old age. But, when his strength and dexterity continued to deteriorate and they realized that "he wasn't quite right," they feared something much more serious, and decided to bring him to Stony Brook University Medical Center.
Diagnostic MRI and CT angiograms indicated Mr. Lombardi was experiencing strokes secondary to a severe narrowing in his carotid artery. Henry H. Woo, MD, renowned cerebrovascular surgeon and interventional neuroradiologist, operated, restoring blood flow to Mr. Lombardi's brain by placing a stent across the offending lesion. The Lombardi family credits their father's complete recovery to the quick, lifesaving response by Dr. Woo and his team.
"My father was very anxious because he had to remain awake during the operation, and he doesn't speak English," recalls Filomena. So, Dr. Woo allowed Filomena and Angela to remain by their father's side during the entire procedure to translate what was happening. "Dr. Woo is not only a phenomenal doctor," said Filomena, "he's also a phenomenal person. We knew the moment we met him that we were in capable hands."
The experience so inspired Filomena Lombardi that she became a member of the newly formed SBUMC Development Council, whose mission is to further the Medical Center's vision of becoming a world-class organization through philanthropy and community support. In addition, the family honored Dr. Woo at the celebration of the opening of their new restaurant in Patchogue, Lombardi's on the Bay. "I just can't say enough or do enough for the Medical Center or Dr. Woo," said Filomena, "and I want to be part of the exciting work that's going on there."