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Lenox Hill treats NYPD veteran with large brain tumor


During his 45 years in the New York Police Department (NYPD) as a civilian director, John Valles, 73, from Staten Island, has faced many trying situations throughout his career. However, the biggest challenge of his life was when he was faced with the diagnosis of a very large brain tumor called a meningioma -- a tumor that arises from the membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord.

This past April, Mr. Valles felt weakness in his left leg, and he had a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan performed to make sure that there weren't any neurological problems that could have caused the onset of his symptoms. Mr. Valles' MRI revealed a right parietal meningioma.

His son, as well as his goddaughter, Yvette Ortiz, who is an NYPD sergeant, researched online and found John Boockvar, MD, Lenox Hill Hospital's director of the Brain Tumor Center and an NYPD honorary physician.

"In reviewing Mr. Valles' MRI, the meningioma was considerably large, about the size of an orange," said Dr. Boockvar. "While the tumor is benign, due to its large size and location close to the part of the brain that controls his left side of his body, it was determined it had to be surgically removed."

On April 24th, Dr. Boockvar performed a complete resection of the tumor. Mr. Valles' follow-up MRI showed that the surgical removal was a success, without any neurological deficits. Mr. Valles' left leg weakness has already improved.

He was discharged from the hospital two days later saying, "I am doing wonderful! I was very well taken care of by Dr. Boockvar and his team."

Feeling just as grateful, Mr. Valles' goddaughter, Sergeant Yvette Ortiz said, "It was a great success story. Dr. Boockvar had the hands of gold. We can't thank him enough for everything he's done. We are so glad to have him as an NYPD honorary physician."

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About Lenox Hill Hospital
Lenox Hill Hospital, a member of Northwell Health, is a 652-bed, fully accredited, acute care hospital located on Manhattan's Upper East Side with a national reputation for outstanding patient care and innovative medical and surgical treatments. US News & World Report has ranked the hospital among the nation's top 50 in Cardiology and Heart Surgery and among the top 10 hospitals in the state of New York with a total of 11 "high performing" designations for its clinical performance in Cancer, Diabetes & Endocrinology, Ear, Nose & Throat, Gastroenterology & GI Surgery, Geriatrics, Gynecology, Nephrology, Neurology & Neurosurgery, Orthopedics, Pulmonology and Urology. For more information, go to

Michelle Pipia-Stiles
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Barbara Osborn
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