$1 million grant gives UT Mobile Stroke Unit more time to save lives

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The University of Tennessee Health Science Center’s Mobile Stroke Unit received a more than $1 million grant on Friday.

The unit was brought into service in 2016 with $3 million for three years of service.

This new grant gives the unit more time to save lives.

“The stroke I had I ought to been dead or in a wheelchair, but you see me,” said Gerry Sanlind.

Sanlind was on a flight to Atlanta when he suffered a massive stroke in 2018. Crews landed the plane in Memphis and he was treated right on the tarmac.

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“If it would not have been for the stroke team and the stroke mobile, I don’t think I would be here today,” Sanlind said.

On Friday, the UTHC announced the foundation awarded the Mobile Stroke Unit a $1.1 million grant.

“Mobile stroke units are able to treat these patients in an ultra-fast way,” said Anne Alexandrov, chief nurse practitioner for UT Mobile Stroke.

Doctors have spent years collecting data and they found out it takes about 72 minutes for the average stroke patient to receive care.

Medical professionals said with every passing minute, that patient loses 1.9 million neurons, making the immediate car that patient received in the Mobile Stroke Unit so vital.

“I know that we need to do more because there’s a tremendous opportunity to prevent families from being ripped apart and people from being disabled,” said Dr. Adam Arthur, chairman of neurology at Methodist University Hospital.

Sanlind said he is thankful and blessed this unit was able to save his life.

The UT health science center is asking for donations to buy a second mobile stroke unit.