Home to recover, Kemoy Campbell advocates for defribillators in school

By April 16, 2019

Jamaican Olympian Kemoy Campbell is back home for some well-needed rest and recovery after the harrowing experience he endured in February when his heart stopped while competing at the Millrose Games in New York.

Campbell, who represented Jamaica in the 3000m at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, collapsed off the track in New York and was put into a medically induced coma for 48 hours. After he was revived, Campbell spent the next few weeks in hospital while doctors ran a battery of tests hoping to discover why his heart stopped.

Nothing conclusive was found but doctors put an Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator inside his chest and ordered him to take a few months off before he could ever think about running again. As part of that recovery, Campbell returned home last week to his home parish of Manchester.

“I've been home since Tuesday and it feels great to be able to see my family and friends. I can relax,” he said. “The main focus of my recovery is to do less strenuous activities, which will affect the recovery process of my heart.”

While he was in the hospital members of Team Jamaica Bickle (TJB) paid him a visit.

Twenty-five years ago, TJB initiated a hospitality service to cater to the basic needs of athletes from Jamaica participating at the annual Penn Relays. They provide the athletes with three hot meals daily, ground transportation, chiropractic and some medical services as well as mentorship.

And in the past few years, following incidents where student athletes have died from heart-related issues during competition, they initiated a programme to outfit Jamaican high schools with defribillators.

Kemoy Campbell has become an ambassador for that programme.

“Being an ambassador for Team Bickle is an honour. Their cause is what drove me towards becoming one for them. A defibrillator saved my life and I think I can inform people of its importance, since it might mean life or death,” he said advocating for every Jamaican school to get one.

“A crucial point is that is can restart a stopped heart. The heart uses electricity to function and this device is built to jump-tart that electricity when it stops.”

Campbell knows best about how important defibrillators are. He is alive because of one.

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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