The University of Tennessee Health Science Center received a $1-million grant from the Assisi Foundation of Memphis for its mobile stroke unit.
On average, the mobile stroke unit is about 72 minutes faster at treating a stroke victim than a regular ambulance. As local 24’s Tish Clark explains, those minutes can be the difference between life and death.
“I’m here to celebrate my life,” says Gerry Sandlin, stroke survivor. “I’m excited to be alive.”
Sandlin, of Alabama, was flying to Atlanta around this time last year when his plane suddenly had to make an emergency landing in Memphis. Sandlin had suffered a major stroke.
The UT mobile stroke unit was waiting at the airport. Sandlin credits the unit and stroke team for saving his life.
“If it wasn’t for the stroke unit, I don’t believe I would be as good as I am today,” says Sandlin.
The Assisi Foundation of Memphis gave $1 million to keep UT’s mobile stroke unit operating.
“Those funds are desperately needed to make sure that this vehicle, that we have has the gas and the talent inside it to save lives,” says Love Collins with UTHSC.
UT reps are grateful for the donation, but say Memphis needs at least one more mobile stroke unit. It would need an additional $1.5 million to make that happen.
“One vehicle given our population is not enough,” says Collins. “When you have a stroke, you know time is of the essence.”
Those minutes could mean the difference between life and death.
“The Mobile stroke unit can actually come to your home and be right there in your driveway, ‘cause we’ve got all the equipment you need,” says Collins.