Press Release

Patients with Hi Tech Heart Procedures Reunited with Their Doctors on Valentine’s Day

February 13th, 2019

Comedian Kevin James’ Mother Headlines Heartfelt Reunion at St. Francis Hospital

Roslyn, New York, February 14, 2019 – As a famous comedian’s mom, Janet Knipfing tries to find humor in everything, but she realizes some things aren’t so funny. The 80-year-old mother of the “King of Queens” underwent a high tech heart procedure known as precision angioplasty before getting a stent from Richard Shlofmitz, M.D., Chairman of Cardiology. Just weeks after Dr. Shlofmitz opened her severely blocked artery, Janet received a minimally invasive transcatheter aortic valve replacement or TAVR. “If you don’t laugh, you cry,” says Janet. “But I feel great now and am finally able to climb hills at my favorite dog park without getting tired.”

 The charismatic cardiac patient is one of four to be reunited with doctors and nurses after undergoing hi tech heart procedures at St. Francis. They include three men who would put “the six million dollar man” to shame after surviving incredible odds:

  • David Eisermann, a 50-year-old New Hyde Park Memorial High School teacher from Commack, who suffered advanced heart failure from a disease contracted in Central America. He was initially given only one year to live if he was unable to get a heart transplant. But thanks to Rita Jermyn, M.D., and Edward Lundy, M.D., Ph.D,, he was able to receive an artificial heart pump known as a Left Ventricular Assist Device or LVAD as bridge therapy until he received a heart transplant last May.
  • John Angerame, a 60-year-old psychologist from Bayville who suffered from an irregular heartbeat known as atrial fibrillation. John, an avid jogger, thought he could never run again. But after consulting with St. Francis cardiologist Stephen Mezzafonte, M.D, John was referred to electrophysiologist David Hoch, M.D. Dr. Hoch performed a cauterizing procedure called an ablation at 100 locations in John’s heart to re-circuit it. As a result, the diehard runner completed the New York City Marathon last November.
  • Archie “Ace” Dalton, at 90 years young this Plandome resident and former ad exec was the first person on Long Island to receive a minimally invasive, transcatheter mitral valve replacement (TMVR) as part of a major nationwide study led by George Petrossian, M.D. and Newell Robinson, M.D., co-principal investigators at St. Francis. The clinical trial offers new hope for elderly patients with severe mitral valve regurgitation.“These patients are living testaments to the leading edge cardiac care we provide here at St. Francis, New York State’s only specialty designated heart hospital,” said Charles Lucore, M.D., M.B.A., President of St. Francis. “Our highly dedicated team of health care professionals think it’s a truly great way to celebrate Valentine’s Day.”   

Contact: Rosemary Gomez, 516-563-7965,





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