Sunday, June 26, 2016

Ackermann PR Releases Statement on Former Coach's Condition

The family of former Tennessee women's basketball coach Pat Summitt released a statement Sunday confirming recent reports she is going through a "difficult" time in her battle with Alzheimer's disease.
On behalf of Pat Summitt’s family, we acknowledge the past few days have been difficult for Pat as her early onset dementia, ‘Alzheimer’s Type,’ progresses," the statement read. "She is surrounded by those who mean the most to her and during this time, we ask for prayers for Pat and her family and friends, as well as your utmost respect and privacy. Thank you.
The statement was released by Erin Freeman of Ackermann Public Relations.

The Knoxville News Sentinel previously reported Summitt's loved ones were "preparing for the worst."

The 64-year-old was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease in 2011. She retired from coaching following the 2011-12 season and has the title of head coach emeritus in Knoxville. Tennessee won eight national championships and made 18 Final Four appearances during her tenure.

Her health has steadily declined since her diagnosis. While she completed a full season as a coach following the diagnosis, longtime Lady Vols announcer Mickey Dearstone gave insight into her worsened state in a March interview with' Dennis Dodd.

“I’m not sure that she knows who I am unless I tell her,” Dearstone said. “People that were really close to her, it’s really sunk in.”

The average life expectancy of someone diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease is eight to 10 years, according to the Mayo Clinic.

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