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.


Chattanooga Room In The Inn Gets A New Kitchen And New Look

Chattanooga Room in the Inn, a residential facility for homeless women and children, is chosen as a beneficiary in Karndean Designflooring’s 40 Good Floors for 40 Good Causes Campaign.  Rhonda Gay with Chattanooga Flooring Center nominated the non-profit agency.  At the same time, the Women’s Group of Christ United Methodist Church, under the direction of interior designer, ... (click for more)

12th Annual Minority Health Fair Is Aug. 16

In August 2002, Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. and Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. partnered with the 28th Community Development Corporation to focus on men’s health issues by providing a free health fair – Hamilton County Minority Health Fair. The primary focus was geared toward prostate exams, blood pressure and other educational services for men. In 2004, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, ... (click for more)

Plan Proposed For Lookout Mountain, Ga., Homeowners To Pay $10 Per Month For 8 Years For Sewer Upgrades

Lookout Mountain, Ga., officials are proposing a $10 per month charge for each homeowner for eight years to pay for sewer upgrades. The town's sewer system, that was installed 15 years ago, works with the help of grinder pumps at each of the 605 houses in the town. The life expectancy of this equipment is 20 years and the need for replacements has already begun. City Manager ... (click for more)

PAST Act On Horse Abuse Stalls Out In U.S. House Despite 70% Support

Rep. Ed Whitfield (KY-01), chairman of the House Subcommittee on Energy and Power, issued the following statement today regarding the Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act, H.R. 1518:   “I regret to inform you that Speaker of the House, John Boehner, currently refuses  to bring the Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act to the floor for a vote.  His decision ... (click for more)

Curtis Adams: Beck, Mackey Should Be Considered For County Commission Leadership

Just think about this;  a person highly qualified applying for a job.  As he is just about finished filling out his papers for his interview, he sees at the bottom there is a place for him to check Democrat or Republican.  He would think, “if I mark the wrong one I may not get the job.” Being a real leader requires honesty, integrity, and, most importantly, fairness. ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Orchids And Onions

With record low temperatures being recorded around the South, I didn’t know what I’d find in my garden on the first day of August but – sure enough -- there is a profusion of orchids and onions. The start of college football will be later this month and, with the chilly mornings, fall practice is a far cry from what it will be when the sweltering heat comes back next week. Here’s ... (click for more)