Civil War Re-Enactor Faced Battle Of His Life And Won

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Retired Chickamauga City Manager and Civil War re-enactor John Culpepper faced what could have been the battle of his life and won, thanks to the urging of his wife and paramedics. After shrugging off a day of symptoms that included a racing heart and other ill feelings that were consistent with side effects of a steroid treatment used to treat his sinus problems, Mr. Culpepper, a member of the Hutcheson Medical Center board of directors, decided to seek treatment in the hospital’s emergency department in a move that may have saved his life. Now, he’s telling his story so that others may learn from his experience.

After experiencing a full day of unusual sensations in his chest that eventually escalated to severe chest pain radiating into his jaw and teeth while he was doing yard work, Mr. Culpepper and his wife decided to contact paramedics. To their relief, emergency responders found that his heart sounded normal, his blood pressure was good and an EKG did not detect any problems. Still, they urged him to proceed to Hutcheson for further testing. While Mr. Culpepper believed the sensations in his chest to be related to allergies, he decided to go to the emergency room only because he had a board meeting to attend at the hospital. He drove himself to Hutcheson Medical Center, where testing began immediately upon arrival and detected an elevated enzyme in his blood, indicating an immediate heart problem.

Dr. Ezad Ahmad, a physician who covers cardiology call at Hutcheson, conducted a diagnostic catheterization that detected a 90 percent blockage in an artery leading to Mr. Culpepper’s heart – a condition with life-threatening consequences. Mr. Culpepper was subsequently transferred by ambulance to Hamilton Medical Center in Dalton, a hospital that performs interventional caths, and received a stent within ten minutes of arrival.

“If it were not for the paramedics urging and the Hutcheson board meeting, I would not have sought additional medical care and would have suffered a massive heart attack,” said Culpepper, who is admittedly stubborn. After all, he had a complete blood work-up with his regular physician just three weeks before that did not indicate a problem, and he was scheduled to receive a distinguished service award for “Outstanding Community Service for Walker County” from the Fort Oglethorpe Kiwanis Club the following day.

“Mr. Culpepper’s decision to follow his instincts and the advice of medical professionals at home and at Hutcheson allowed us to treat a previously undetected condition,” said Dr. Ahmad. “Now that he’s won this battle, he’s ready to take on a few more. This time, though, they can be as a re-enactor.” 

Since his retirement, Mr. Culpepper focuses his time in serving as chairman of the Georgia Civil War Commission and continuing his involvement with the Sons of Confederate Veterans. Mr. Culpepper was able to play a significant role in commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Chickamauga last year, which included more than 10,000 re-enactors.


HRC Medical And Its Principals Ordered To Pay $18 Million And Stop Unlawful Activity

Attorney General Herbert H. Slatery III announced Friday Senior Judge Don Ash, serving as special judge for the Davidson County Circuit Court, has granted the State’s Motion for Partial Summary Judgment in its lawsuit against HRC Medical Centers, Inc. and the company’s principals, Dan Hale, Don Hale, and Dixie Hale. The Order is a significant step in concluding the case, officials ... (click for more)

BlueCross Selects Moore To Lead Clinical Pharmacy

BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee has promoted Dr. Crescent Moore to director of clinical pharmacy.  In this role, she is responsible for strategic direction for clinical pharmacy programs for all BlueCross lines of business. This includes overseeing approved lists of prescription drugs for members as well as the medication management for their medical and pharmacy benefits.  ... (click for more)

Cleveland City Council Votes 4-2 To Pass A 46-Cent Property Tax Increase

The Cleveland City Council, with scant public notice, voted 4-2 on first reading on Monday afternoon to approve one of the largest property tax increases in the city's history. Richard Banks, Bill Estes, Tom Cassada and Vice Mayor Avery Johnson voted for a 46-cent property tax boost. Opposed were Charlie McKenzie and David May. Dale Hughes and Mayor Tom Rowland were absent ... (click for more)

Police Find Large Cache Of Meth, $23,134 Cash On Hensley At Motel Near Hamilton Place; Police Say He Was Supplier To Rossville Man Who Died In June 29 Overdose

Chattanooga Police said they found Michael Wade Hensley with a large cache of meth, a loaded handgun and $23,134 cash after being summoned to a motel near Hamilton Place Mall last Wednesday. Police said they believe that Hensley, 41, was the supplier for a 36-year-old Rossville man who died of an overdose on June 29. Hensley is now facing federal charges of possession of meth ... (click for more)

Can Franks Road Be Next? - Councilman Ledford Says Yes It Can

It was great to hear that something is finally getting done about Northpoint Boulevard. Now, Mr. Ledford, can we please do something about getting Franks Road fixed? Mickey Spence * * * Yes, Franks Road can be next. Since day one on the job, I have focused on roads in District 4 that need immediate attention. I am happy to report that working together with Mayor ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Chik-fil-A Commits To East Ridge And Camp Jordan Development

In less than three weeks after a plan that could enhance Camp Jordan in East Ridge was announced, it has been learned that a Chik-fil-A restaurant will break ground at Jordan Crossing this fall. While developers John Healy, Matt Woods and Ethan Woods cannot make a public comment, the news is every bit as profound as James Earl Jones saying, “If you build it, they will come,” in ... (click for more)