'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.

Related items

  • We don't have to do things the same way – Coe suggests athletics changes following coronavirus crisis We don't have to do things the same way – Coe suggests athletics changes following coronavirus crisis

    World Athletics president Sebastian Coe says track and field must not be afraid to "think bigger" after the coronavirus pandemic passes.

    On Tuesday, it was confirmed the Tokyo Olympics – which had been due to start in July – has been postponed to 2021 due to the ongoing crisis.

    World Athletics has welcomed the decision, with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) having initially been reluctant to postpone the showpiece event.

    It appears inevitable the World Athletics Championship, due to be held in Oregon in August 2021, will be nudged back a year to 2022 as a result.

    Though disappointed at the 2020 schedule being hugely affected, Coe suggested there is now an opportunity to reinvigorate athletics.

    "When we get through this, and we will, we will be braver and more innovative," Coe wrote in an open letter on Friday.

    "We will be more collaborative and resilient. We will be stronger and more tolerant. We will be more global, not less.

    "In sport we have a unique opportunity not to tiptoe around things and tweak at the edges. We have the chance to think bigger, to rip up the blueprints and banish the 'that's the way we've always done it' mentality."

    Coe added: "The situation the world finds itself in today is a huge wake-up call for all of us – as human beings, as businesses and as sport. We should capitalise on this and work out new ways of delivering events, create and plan new events that embrace the many as well as the few.

    "We can use this time to innovate and extend our sport across the year. Rather than just focusing on one-day meetings and one-day road races at one end of the spectrum and 10-day extravaganzas at the other end, we should look at weekend festivals of running, jumping and throwing that take advantage of the southern and northern hemisphere seasons.

    "We should work with governments to re-establish sport in schools, rebuild club structures, incentivise people to exercise and get fit. This should and could be the new normal. We don't have to do things the same way.

    "The priority for all of us right now is to contain the pandemic, stay healthy and stay home. But where we can continue to drive our sport forward, we must."

    Coe also revealed his organisation will do all it can to ensure the outdoor season of one-day meetings goes ahead as soon as it is safe, with Diamond League events having been postponed until at least June.

  • Coronavirus: Three more Diamond League meets postponed Coronavirus: Three more Diamond League meets postponed

    The Wanda Diamond League has today postponed three more meetings which had been scheduled to take place in May. An alternative calendar for the 2020 season is to be announced in due course.

    Following the postponement of early-season events in Qatar and China last week, the series has decided to also suspend meetings in Stockholm (scheduled for 24 May), Naples/Rome (28 May) and Rabat (31 May). 

    The decision was made in close consultation with all the relevant parties. The dynamic global spread of the COVID-19 disease, the travel restrictions expected to be in force for some time and above all concerns over athlete safety have made it impossible to stage the competitions as planned. 

    The meeting organisers, the Wanda Diamond League and World Athletics remain committed to delivering a structured extensive season in 2020. The aim is to ensure that athletes can compete at the highest possible level this year and that fans will be able to see their favourite stars in action, whenever the global health situation allows. 

    New dates for Wanda Diamond League events will be announced in cooperation with the World Athletics Global Calendar Unit as soon as the extraordinary situation makes a reliable plan possible. We are working intensively with all stakeholders (athletes, managers, broadcasters, sponsors, local authorities and federations) to develop a new calendar for a 2020 Wanda Diamond League season which best serves the interests of athletes and fans.

  • Amidst the coronavirus lockdown, Fraser-Pryce sends care packages to student-athletes Amidst the coronavirus lockdown, Fraser-Pryce sends care packages to student-athletes

    Nine-time world champion continues to put us all to shame with her altruism.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.