Throwing strikes in the name of stroke awareness

On May 6, Sarah Walker stepped up to the pitcher’s mound at the center of AT&T Field — home of the Chattanooga Lookouts — and threw the first pitch of the evening’s game. But before that momentous pitch, Sarah, a stroke survivor, stood in front of thousands attending the game that night to share her life-saving experience at Erlanger Health System.

Sarah and other survivors were recognized that night as a part of the “Strike Out Stroke” event sponsored by Erlanger Health System and the Chattanooga Lookouts during Stroke Awareness Month 2015.

Every 40 seconds, someone has a stroke. A stroke is a “brain attack” where blood flow in the brain is cut off, depriving the brain cells of oxygen. When this happens, nearly 2 million brain cells die every minute. This can lead to serious debilitating brain damage, or death.

That’s why spreading awareness of these warning signs is so important. “Strike Out Stroke” is a national program focused on saving lives and reducing the effects of stroke by educating people on the importance of acting F.A.S.T.:

F – Face drooping

A – Arm weakness

S – Speech difficulty

T – Time to call 911

Last year alone, “Strike Out Stroke” reached nearly 1.5 million people by participating in major and minor league baseball events. This incredible influence led to lives being saved and increased timely calls to 911 for stoke emergencies.

To learn more about the risk factors of stroke and what the Erlanger Health System is doing to improve outcomes for stroke patients, visit: