'I pushed my body until my heart stopped' - Kemoy Campbell

By February 13, 2019

Jamaican distance runner Kemoy Campbell has revealed that his heart had stopped on Saturday when he collapsed at the NYRR Millrose Games.

The 28-year-old Campbell, the first Jamaican male distance runner to make a final at the IAAF World Championships, crumbled on the track while running as a pacesetter in the 3000m in New York. It took paramedics about 20 minutes to revive him and rush him to the hospital where he was put into a medically induced coma.

According to a statement from his family, he came out of the coma on Tuesday even as his family launched a GoFundMe account to help with what are expected to be hefty medical bills.

In an emotional caption posted on his Instagram page, beneath a picture of him in his hospital bed in New York, his first public words uttered since the incident, Campbell, also expressed gratitude for the overwhelming support he and his family have been receiving since the incident.

“As athletes, we train to push our bodies beyond its normal limits…until my heart stopped at Millrose Games on Saturday,” Campbell posted. “I don’t remember any of it and I know there are videos around but I don’t need to see them.”

That he is still alive, he said, is miraculous.

“I realize that I’m either very lucky, or someone was watching out for me Saturday. I cry because I know what the people who truly care about me went through and when I heard my dad’s voice on the phone I couldn’t stop crying,” he said. “I heard the shock, sadness, pain and relief all at once.”

The support for Campbell has been tremendous.

Since the gofundme account was launched, the President of Reebok, Matt O'Toole, committed US$50,000 towards the athlete’s medical expenses. Meanwhile, Jamaica’s Minister of Sports Olivia Grange also committed to supporting the athlete with funds from the Sports Development Foundation.

The athlete is also covered under a health insurance scheme the government launched for athletes two years ago. Minister Grange confirmed this in a statement on Tuesday.

Campbell, meanwhile, continues to focus on recovering as doubts emerge as to whether he can continue his career in track and field.

“It’s been tough not physically, but mentally it has been a battle. Anyway, for those who care, I am recovering. I walked yesterday for the first time and I was a little dizzy but pushed through with the help the PT’s. Most of all though, I want to thank everyone who donated to help me get back (on) track. I love you all.

 

 

Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy is a journalist with 28 years’ experience covering crime, entertainment, and sports. He joined the staff at SportsMax.TV as a content editor two years ago and is enjoying the experience of developing sports content and new ideas. At SportsMax.tv he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

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