N.J. cardiologist suffers stroke due to coronavirus, and he’s not alone

After five days, the worst of the COVID-19 symptoms — the headache, the fever, the body ache — had ended. But it was only the start of the medical crisis for Troy L. Randle, a New Jersey cardiologist who is recovering from a devastating coronavirus consequence that doctors are only now learning about.

In mid-April, shortly after he was declared safe to go back to work treating patients in the Virtua Health System, Randle’s headache returned, more vicious than the last time.

“It felt like a sharp pain in the back of my head, and then I felt this intense pressure in the front,” the Mullica Hill man said. “It felt like a vise.”

Randle, 49, tried to wait it out at home. But after days of relentless pain, his wife, Melody, a nurse practitioner, broke into tears begging him to go to the hospital, where he had a CT scan and an MRI.

“I was totally blown away when they said I had a stroke,” Randle said.

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The type of stroke Randle had could have been fatal, said Veznedaroglu ... His vertebral artery had clotted, cutting off blood to the cerebellum, the part of the brain that controls balance and motor functions. “It’s basically our life center to the brain."

Dr. Erol Veznedaroglu

Jason Laughlin,

Philadelphia Inquirer