A Life Cut Too Short — In Loving Memory of Brent Riley Swygert

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Today’s the last day of my startup camp in Las Vegas, and with all the travel this week, I’m just able to post something today about a horrific event that struck my beloved friend Ty-yana Riley’s family. On Friday, Oct. 14, Ty-yana’s gorgeous nephew Brent tragically passed away while playing a choking game.

He had recently celebrated his 12th birthday on Oct. 10, and was excited about his grandparents’ visit to Atlanta. Brent was a sweet, happy child with a joyful spirit. I was able to spend time with him while visiting Ty-yana in her family’s home in Panama City over the years. I remember playing with him while he was just a baby … he was always beautiful … he could’ve been in Gerber commercials. He was growing up to be a very handsome young man … and was always so kind and sweet. I will never forget the anguish of Ty-yana’s voice as she tearfully told me what happened.

The choking game, also known as Blackout or the Fainting Game among other names, is not a game at all. Children and adolescents use their hands, a belt or rope, or have their friends push their chest or neck to feel a few seconds of light-headedness. What they may not realize, is that they are actually cutting off the flow of blood to their brain and the fuzzy feeling they get is actually caused by thousands of brain cells dying at one time. This game can cause serious injuries and even death. I’m embarrassed to say that I know about this game. I can’t recall who I played it with, but I remember someone pushing on my chest to make me faint. It wasn’t something we did frequently, but just something stupid we did, completely ignorant of the dangers.

You can see a news report about Brent’s passing here:


He was a beautiful person, with his whole life ahead of him. Please join me in praying for his family in this incredibly difficult time, especially the Riley Family … who has been a family to me since I was in sixth grade … his mom, Sartee, sister, Lexis, grandparents, Mr. Al and Mrs. Edith, aunts Ty-Yana and Sangai, cousins Akili Love and Baby Riley, plus many, many more loving relatives and friends.

The wake is today, and Brent will be laid to rest on Saturday, Oct. 22. As you can imagine, this horrible tragedy came unexpectedly. If you are so inclined, please consider making a contribution toward the expense of Brent’s funeral and arrangements. You can show your support conveniently by making a contribution at http://www.charlieslittleangels.org/ in the name of Brent Riley Swygert. Your gift is eternally appreciated and completely tax deductible.

You can express your condolences here:


Or you can snail mail items to the family: 2004 Kingsley Circle, Johns Creek, GA 30022

Please “like” the Brent Riley Swygert Memorial Facebook page:


You can help prevent the unnecessary loss of young lives like Brent’s through education and conversation. For more information about the myths and realities of the choking game, plus a helpful educational video, visit:


10/26/2011 Update:

Please see the following news report from WJHG in Panama City featuring Mr. Albert and Mrs. Edith Riley, Brent’s grandparents.


–Ashley Cisneros
Ashley Cisneros is a co-founder of Chatter Buzz Media, an Orlando Internet marketing firm that helps companies and organizations engage with their target markets through inbound marketing via the Internet. Chatter Buzz Media, which won the Social Madness competition for the Orlando small business market, is a full-service digital marketing firm specializing in website design, search engine optimization (SEO), social media marketing and content creation. Prior to founding Chatter Buzz, Ashley worked as a newspaper reporter, magazine editor, technical writer, marketing manager, public relations practitioner and freelance journalist. To see Ashley’s content writing, visit www.ashleycisneros.com. You can also reach Ashley on her Google profile.

By | 2017-04-28T07:32:30+00:00 October 16th, 2011|Categories: Blog, Samples|Tags: , , , , , |0 Comments

About the Author:

Ashley Cisneros Mejia is a journalist, entrepreneur and marketer. She began her career as a newspaper reporter and later as an editor at Florida Trend business magazine. Ashley has worked as a professional freelance writer since 2009, as a technical writer, marketing manager, and public relations practitioner. She also founded two digital marketing agencies in Orlando. Named one of Orlando’s 40 Under 40 and honored by the Women’s Executive Council of Orlando for achievements in media and communications, Ashley earned a B.S. in Journalism and an M.S. in Entrepreneurship at the University of Florida.

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