Media Advisory

For Immediate Release:

April 10, 2019

Media Contact:

Lidia Amoretti

(305) 801-6556

Federal Law Enforcement Officer Makes Miraculous Recovery after Undergoing Surgery at Jackson Memorial Hospital to Treat Two Life-Threatening Aneurysms


Robert Starke, MD, UHealth neurosurgeon and neuroradiologist at Jackson Memorial Hospital
Irene Guadamuz, patient


On May 5, 2018, Irene Guadamuz was home with her daughter in Miami Springs, when she started feeling a sharp pain in her head.

“The pain was so strong, it was worse than labor pains,” describes Guadamuz. “I knew there was nothing normal about the pain, and I first tried to drive myself to the hospital.”

The pain intensified so quickly that her daughter ended up calling fire rescue, fearing her mom would not survive.

Guadamuz, 49, was immediately rushed to the emergency department at Jackson Memorial Hospital, where an angiogram revealed she had two tiny aneurysms, one of which had ruptured.

An aneurysm is a balloon-like bulge on an artery wall. As it grows, it puts pressure on nearby structures and may eventually rupture. A ruptured aneurysm releases blood into the subarachnoid space around the brain. A subarachnoid hemorrhage is a life-threatening type of stroke, and 40 percent of patients die from this condition.

Dr. Robert Starke, UHealth – University of Miami Health System neurosurgeon and neuroradiologist, and co-director of endovascular neurosurgery at Jackson Memorial Hospital, performed an emergency craniotomy on Guadamuz, in which he made a small opening in her skull, stopped the bleeding and clipped both aneurysms.

“When Irene arrived to the hospital, she couldn’t even say her name,” said Dr. Starke. “She also couldn’t open one of her eyes because the aneurysm was compressing on cranial nerve 3 – the nerve that supplies most of the muscles that moves the eyeballs.”

Guadamuz remained in the neurosurgery intensive care unit at Jackson Memorial Hospital for more than two weeks.

“While I was hospitalized, I would push myself to walk around the hallways with the help of my nurse,” said Guadamuz. “I was so eager to get back to myself. All I kept thinking about was my daughter’s high school graduation.”

On May 23, 2018, Guadamuz was released from the hospital, and was able to attend her daughter’s graduation two weeks later. Guadamuz also underwent speech therapy at Jackson Rehabilitation Hospital.

“Guadamuz has made a remarkable recovery,” said Dr. Starke. “It’s incredible she managed to go back to work six months later.”

Guadamuz, who is a federal law enforcement officer, underwent a series of basic training tests, and was reinstated to full duties in December.

“Once I was fully recovered, I visited my fellow officers to thank them for all their support,” said Guadamuz. “I’m also so grateful to Dr. Starke for saving my life.”

Guadamuz says she is back to running three miles every day. She will share her story during a news conference at Jackson Memorial Hospital.

Angiogram images and other pictures can we downloaded at this link:


Wednesday, April 10, 2019, 10 a.m.


Jackson Memorial Hospital
Ira Clark Diagnostic Treatment Center, Room 259
The corner of N.W. 12th Avenue and 19th Street
Miami, FL 33136

Editor's Note:

Media can park at the curb outside of DTC.

Jackson Health System

1611 N.W. 12th Avenue Miami, FL 33136