• Cierra Bynum

WNBA star donates defibrillators, saves man's life

Women's National Basketball Association star Tina Charles has made it a life mission to place automated external defibrillators, also known as AEDs, in facilities around the world.

Charles started Hopey's Heart Foundation in 2013 to honor her late aunt Maureen "Hopey" Vaz, who passed away from organ failure. Charles has sent over 300 AEDs to schools, work places, rec centers, and other facilities.

Two months ago, her foundation received a letter from Marbridge Foundation, which is located in from Mancha, Texas. The letter informed her and her mother, Angella Murry, that Dan Carlson had suffered a heart attack and was saved by an AED that was sent from her foundation.

On Sept. 1, 2017, in New York, she got a surprise from Carlson and his wife, who had come to thank her. "I was overwhelmed with emotion. All the glory belongs to God. I'm just a servant out here able to do his work, and that's what Hopey's Heart is all about serving others. I don't take any credit," Charles told USA Today.

Charles donated her entire WNBA salary in 2016 and 2017 and half her salary from the previous two seasons to her foundation. Her foundation donates 100 AEDs a month; managers of facilities in need of AEDs must simply fill out an application.

"My faith is everything. Somebody somewhere is depending on you to do God's will. That's exactly what I'm doing through Hopey's Heart Foundation. I'm just walking by the spirit. My faith is what carries me on," Charles told USA Today.