DALLAS — Just like that, Sherry Penson Hamilton had seen enough.
Unfortunately for her, she had seen death hit home way too much.
First by way of heart attacks.
Then by way of heart disease.
Then by way of cardiac arrest.
Then by way of heart attacks again.
The latest death, amid a heart attack as a matter of fact, had ultimately proved the most devastating, thus prompted Hamilton to take a much-needed assessment of the overall landscape of her life.
Even from a career standpoint.
“When my late uncle, Melvin Penson Sr., whom I loved dearly had a heart attack early one morning around love ones, no one had taken CPR in years,” Hamilton told longtime journalist Andre Johnson during a recent interview. “This really convicted my spirit and inspired my saying, ‘The life you save may be your love one.’ Since then, I have lost three friends, all in their 40’s due to heart attacks, and they all were with family or co-workers. Therefore, I don’t just have a passion, but I’m on a mission.”
In demonstrating arguably the most resiliency she’s exemplified since she effectively had given her life to Christ and accepted her ministerial calling years ago, Hamilton thought it necessary to bolt her Corporate America job as a county employee less than a year ago and shift her focus primarily on a venture she sensed would prevent her and others from enduring even more heartache and disappointment and sadness.
Today, Hamilton, 44, is owner and chief operating officer of Red Heart CPR in Kyle, Texas, an American Heart Association-sanctioned course that is designed for the lay-person rescuer.
Open seven days a week, Red Heart CPR serves a number of areas in North Texas, most notably Austin, Buda, San Marcos, and other surrounding areas.
According to organization’s website, Red Heart CPR covers the CPR instruction for adults, children, and infants, as well as offers a course that is geared toward airway management of a choking victim (via the Heimlich maneuver) and the use of an Automated External Defibrillator (or AED).
Red Heart CPR offers a number of informative classes, some lasting as long as 5-to-7 hours at reasonably afforded prices (ranging between $40-60).
A business venture Hamilton established nearly four years ago, RED, as it pertains to her business means, “Rescuing Every Dying (Heart),” a trend the Austin, Texas native is committed to fortifying daily.
LOG ON TO RED HEART CPR: http://www.redheartcpr.com/index.html
“I absolutely love it,” said Hamilton, a former Sidney Lanier High School (Austin) track and field standout, when asked what she loves the most about her business. “Empowering others with the skills to rescue someone from death is what I like best. I understand every life will not be saved, but knowing you tried is a powerful thing.”
Amongst the intriguing trends about Red Heart CPR is that its mission and courses are prevalent for individuals of all ages, some as young as five years old, some as old as 70.
After all, Hamilton — given the array of untimely deaths she’s witnessed in recent years — would be the first to tell you that heart attacks, cardiac arrest, and heart disease don’t merely have an age attached to them.
Moreover, so that Red Heart CPR can better strive to save lives, Hamilton has launched an initiative called “Life Matters,” a movement whereby she dauntlessly poses the question, “Are you CPR Certified?”
“I hope to make this a household conversation,” Hamilton said of her latest project. “We should ask our day care centers, recreational facilities, and especial every parents, ‘Are you CPR Certified?’”
Aside from teaching courses to ensure that lives are being saved and restored, another integral part of Red Heart CPR’s mission is to reach individuals in a way that suggests that what it has to offer is rather informative.
Not to mention fun, of course.
“Who says CPR has to be boring?” Hamilton said. “You can have a family night out and learn a life-saving skill or include a class during your baby shower. I’m not traditional bound; however my classes are always taught with triple P’s: Triple Passion, Professionalism, and with a Personal touch.”
How commendable and inspiring for a seasoned licensed evangelist who, last May, took a leap of faith by resigning from her job so she could empower others to exercise their faith by — what else? — speaking life over potentially deadly situations.
Speaking life by way of learning CPR rather fluently, that is.
“I totally feel I have begun my journey and I can’t wait to share more at a later date,” Hamilton said. “However I can share this: The opportunity to equip and empower others with a life-saving skill, whether it’s through CPR or an encouraging word, it totally brings me joy, because life does matter and life is priceless.”
How else to explain why Red Heart CPR was organization on a solid foundation, one that is a accompanied by the featured headline that is housed in 1 Thessalonians 5:11.
“Therefore, encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing,” said Hamilton, recalling the Apostle Paul’s letter to members of the Thessalonian church.
To her credit, ever since God impressed it upon her heart to establish Red Heart CPR, she’s done just that.
One life at a time.
For more information about Red Heart CPR, call Sherry Penson Hamilton at (512) 749-6071, or email her at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Andre Johnson is a senior writer for MemphiSport. A 2000 graduate of the University of Memphis School of Journalism, Johnson covers the NBA Southwest Division from Dallas, Texas. To reach Johnson, send an email to email@example.com. Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist.