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Sunday, June 23, 2024

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Aguilar Boxing CLUB Receives AED from Culpepper’s Cardiac Foundation

by James Coulter

Zee Zemora was watching his son performing intensive training at a local gym when his son suffered cardiac arrest. The good news is that the young boy was rushed to the hospital where he eventually recovered. The bad news is that his situation would have been better handled if the gym had an automated external defibrillator (AED) on-site.

Not wanting anyone else to suffer a similar situation like his son, Zemora reached out to Melanie Brown, founder of Culpepper’s Cardiac Foundation, and requested an AED for another gym, Aguilar Boxing CLUB in Wahneta.

Melanie knew one of the gym’s coaches, Anthony Bearden, ever since he was a young man. She used to cut his hair and that of his grandfather. So, being close friends with Zamora, Melanie was pleased as punch to happily donate an AED to the facility.

“It makes me feel special she chose our establishment [to] put one of her AEDs in,” he said. “I think it is awesome what Melanie is doing. She is a beautiful woman inside and out, she does a lot for the community, and I think what she is doing is amazing.”

With the previous incident involving cardiac arrest at their gym, an AED will prove quite beneficial in case of future emergencies and will ensure that no one else has to suffer a similar problem, Bearden said.

“I think it’s a good thing to have an AED,” Bearden said. “I thank God that he [the young boy] is still with us today. I think if [the AED] would have been here, things would have gone a little bit smoother for him. So, I think it is awesome, a really good thing to have, especially in the sports world.”

Melanie and her team arrived at Aguilar Boxing CLUB in Wahneta to donate and install the AED and offer a small presentation on how to use the device and explain her organization.

Miguel Aguilar, another coach and the gym owner, appreciated the donation. With the type of workouts often performed at his gym, such a device will prove useful in case another cardiac arrest or other emergency occurs.

“It feels great to have this AED donated to our facility,” she said. “The workouts you do in here are intense, so you never know what is going to happen. You just never know.”

Melanie Brown started her non-profit organization nearly three years ago following the untimely passing of her late fiancée, Michael Culpepper, from cardiac arrest. Since its founding, she has raised proceeds to donate nearly two dozen AEDs to local businesses and establishments.

This latest AED was her 23rd donation. She had donated and installed AEDs at other locations across the county, including Tanner’s Lakeside, Old Man Frank’s, and the Caribbean Bay.

Next month, she will be traveling to Clearwater Arena to donate an AED and meet up with two other AED companies, Rescue Seven from Canada and Cora AED from Nashville, Tenn.

She has high expectations for the future, as she plans on raising more money, donating nearly two to three AEDs per month, and launching a new mobile app to help users locate the nearest AED.

“I am privileged and honored to install this AED here [at Aguilar Boxing CLUB] because I see how much of a hard worker these young men do,” she said. “You never know when you can get into cardiac arrest. So, I am glad to do something to save a life in case of a tragedy.”

For more information about Culpepper’s Cardiac Foundation, visit their Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/honoringculpepper

author avatar
Staff Reporter

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