The Brooklyn Hospital Center (TBHC) is sponsoring the Sonny Archer Law Enforcement Foundation, Inc. The background story is one of grief turned into good.
In June of 2011, New York City Detective 1st Grade Fermin S. “Sonny” Archer Jr. called his wife Amanda de Geneste-Archer to report he was in a minor fender bender while on duty. A few hours later, after complaining of pain in his abdomen, Amanda received another call that her husband was in the hospital. The stress of the accident had brought on symptoms that uncovered a dissected aorta. This serious condition happens when the inner layer of the aorta, the large blood vessel branching off the heart, tears. The cause? Untreated high blood pressure. “His pressure continued to be so high that they couldn’t do the surgery he needed,” says Amanda. Sonny Archer died 28 days later. He was 48 years old.
After about six months of terrible grief, Amanda realized she needed to do something. “I was so angry. Angry at Sonny that he didn’t keep on top of his health, angry at myself that I didn’t push him further.” But Amanda also understood the stress and time limitations of Sonny’s job. Amanda, too, was a law enforcement officer, a Supervising Detective Investigator with the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office.
Amanda retired from work and started the Sonny Archer Law Enforcement Foundation to reach out to law enforcement officers and to the general public. “Hypertension is often present without symptoms, and can be deadly,” she said. The foundation provides hypertension awareness and conducts blood pressure screenings.
“Together with TBHC, we are breaking the silence of hypertension in our communities,” says Amanda. “Our hope is to better improve policing through better health.”