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The Tanner Family Gives Back

Click here to view the Tanner's donation video

On November 19, 2019, Steve Tanner had a massive heart attack at his home in Woodstock, GA. His wife, Gail, gave him CPR in their home while waiting on help. When the paramedics arrived, they asked Gail what hospital she preferred. She said, “whatever’s closest.” The paramedics took Steve to Northside Hospital Cherokee.

He had another heart attack upon arrival at Northside Cherokee and the Emergency Room Team was able to get his heart beating again.  They determined due to his time without oxygen that he should receive treatment from the Arctic Sun Temperature Management System.  It is a cutting-edge technology that helps heart attack patients by significantly cooling down their body temperature. Essentially, cooling down body temperature can assist with recovery, reduce inflammation, and limit brain damage. Severe heart attack patients tend to lose the oxygen flow to their brain for a certain amount of time, so they are very susceptible to brain damage. Because of this, Steve’s doctors were concerned about his brain recovery and utilized the Arctic Sun System.

Northside Cherokee possesses two of these systems and they are in high demand.  One night the Arctic Sun was needed for a different patient. “We noticed a huge difference when he was off the machine,” Gail said. “I said right then: when we get out of here, we’re going to buy another one for this hospital.”

While in the hospital, the Tanner family was told that Steve had a 5% chance of a meaningful recovery. However, the family was not defeated. Throughout his life, Steve has been very focused on his health through exercise- specifically biking, and his family knew that he would have a strong chance at recovery.

The Tanner family were around Steve constantly while he was recovering. Gail Tanner spent 45 nights on the convertible window bed in his Northside Cherokee ICU room. “I had no idea such a wonderful hospital was so close to us and was so impressed with the staff and the facilities,” she recalled. Steve’s family were acutely aware that patients in his state do much better when they have human contact, even if they are unable to respond. “The staff was amazing,” they said. “They always talked to him, and there was never time when they were in his room where they didn’t acknowledge him, even if he couldn’t respond.”

Steve ended up spending a month and a half at Northside Hospital Cherokee and then was moved to continue recovering at the Shepherd’s Center. Even with his statistically low chance of full recovery, Steve made it out of the ICU without permanent brain damage! The Tanner family attributes part of his incredible recovery to the Arctic Sun technology- and they recognized that by having only three machines, Northside Cherokee’s capacity was not ideal. As a result, Gail, Steve, and their children, through their company Arylessence, Inc. decided to make an incredibly generous $75,000 donation to Northside Cherokee for an additional Arctic Sun machine.

“By purchasing one for the hospital, so many other people can have the chance to receive the same care that my husband received, and hopefully become fully recovered like him,” Gail said.

Today, Steve is back on his bike and has been able to go back into the office-doing the activities he has always loved. Steve said, “after the pandemic, when we can go into the hospital again, I want to walk down the ICU hallway as a recovered patient and say hello to the amazing team who helped me.”

Thanks to the Tanner family and their generous donation, Northside Cherokee will be able enhance their capacity for using this modern technology, and hopefully many other families will be able to see their loved ones recover at Steve’s level.

To learn more about the Arctic Sun technology, click here.

To learn more about Northside Hospital Cherokee, click here.

To learn more about the patient impact of donations to the Northside Hospital Foundation, click here.