Alton Weekes: From Heart Attack to Health-Focused Entrepreneur

At one point in his life, Alton Weekes thought taking care of himself meant going to McDonald’s to get the two-for-one double quarter pounder with cheese. He was also the friend to call whenever someone wanted to go to an all-you-can-eat buffet. But after suffering a heart attack in 2014, the Navy veteran decided to take his life in a new direction.
Ignoring the Warning Signs
Looking back to the circumstances that led to his heart attack, Weekes realized that there were warning signs along the way he chose to ignore. Two of them occurred when he was at a Veteran’s Administration (VA) Hospital. “I overheard a doctor telling one of his colleagues, ‘I don’t feel comfortable doing this procedure.’ I wondered what he says talking about,” Weekes says. “Another time, I was doing an assessment at the VA before receiving treatment for a back injury, and after the assessment, the technician suggested I go to the ER. But she didn’t tell me why, so her advice didn’t move the needle for me.” Instead, Weekes got in his car and went home.
But Weekes, almost 60, has not always neglected his health. He was a combat veteran who served in the Gulf War and was active while serving in Desert Storm. He was stationed in Charleston, South Carolina. “In the Navy, my activities were great, but once I got out, I didn’t keep any of it up,” he says. “Then I moved to Charlotte and started eating whatever I wanted and didn’t pay attention to my health.” Eventually, his weight increased to 293 pounds, and he wore a size 54 suit. “I thought I was still fly,” Weekes says.
“I Think I Am Having a Heart Attack”
He was back in New York City studying Exhibition Design at FIT when he was advised to go to the ER. That was on a Tuesday. Two days later, he was putting on a pair of compression socks and felt a pain in his chest, but it subsided in ten seconds. He was scheduled for a portfolio review at school that Saturday and concentrated on preparing for that. The pain began again, but this time it didn’t go away. He tried to get comfortable in his chair and pressed on with the review. But while conversing with his professor, the dean of the department, taking them through his design choices and process, Weekes fell to his knees. But he got up and kept going, still feeling the pain. “Something said, ‘You need to get up and get help.’ But I didn’t call anyone; it took me forever to walk up a flight over stairs, then I sat in the auditorium for 20 minutes with an alarm going off in my head,” he recalls. “I walked down this long corridor and saw a security guard and said, ‘I think I am having a heart attack.”
Seven Medications for Life?
His cardiologists prescribed seven different medications. “I knew nothing about meds, their side effects, and how they interacted. I just knew seven wouldn’t work for me for life,” he says.”I wanted to figure out what I could do holistically.” Weekes went to the grocery to get everything green–an apple. mint, parsley, cucumber, kale, spinach, plus a pineapple for sweetness.
“That was the juice, the concoction I made that did it for me,” he explains. “I drank juice once daily, and my doctor noticed my numbers had changed drastically. I juiced for a whole year to get all my numbers down.”
Initially, juicing was something he did for himself. But during the COVID-19 pandemic, he began sharing with his friends what he did to maintain his health. In December 2020, he added a label on the bottles, and Cellful Organics, a cold press juice company, started getting attention. He started getting orders from people in New York City, had them delivered through an Uber, and eventually started shipping his products. Green Belly (his first recipe) was the foundation of the collection. He developed a line around it that would be visually appealing to consumers, which includes carrot-based, Good Morning Sunshine, Beet Better, Earth (kale, spinach, and Swiss chard), and nine others. He has also become a certified juice therapist.
A Lifestyle Shift
Weekes is no longer the friend to call to go for buffet outings. He mostly eats a plant-based diet and drinks plenty of water. He wakes at four and is at the gym at 5 AM, then returns home for juice, prayer, and meditation.
“When people learned I had a heart attack, everyone came to see me. But not everyone made the lifestyle shift me,” he notes. ” But I will tell them to get there when they are ready.”
Cellful Organics’ line of juices is available via e-commerce. For more information, check out their website. Individual juices start at $10.99 and offer 1-day cleanses, weekly packages, 3-day detox programs, and subscriptions.


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