CAPE MAY, N.J. (AP) -- A Coast Guard recruit from Virginia who collapsed and died after a physical fitness run at a New Jersey training center donated his heart.

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Twenty-one-year-old Aaron Redd, of Stafford, was an organ donor whose heart helped save another through the Gift of Life Foundation, The Press of Atlantic City reported. His mother, Eileen, said she plans to write a letter to the recipient through the foundation explaining who her son was.

"He wanted to save lives and now his incredibly strong, beautiful heart continues to beat on," Redd's family wrote in his obituary.

It's unclear why Redd collapsed on July 1 after a 1.5-mile run at the Coast Guard Training Center in Cape May. Medical personnel provided immediate aid, but he died five days later at Cape Regional Medical Center.

Chief Warrant Officer John Edwards said the Coast Guard's investigation into Redd's death could take several months.

Redd was just the second Coast Guard recruit to die at the training center in the past 30 years. His family is asking for donations to be made to the Coast Guard Enlisted Memorial Foundation Inc., a charity raising money to build a memorial in Cape May.

"It's to honor the 1,500 Coast Guard enlisted members who lost their lives," Eileen Redd said. "Aaron will be part of that. Our family intends to make sure it's on target. Aaron's motto was always, `I've got this.' Now we've got this. We're taking on what we can."

(Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

 

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