Jamaican government settles outstanding medical bills for Olympian Kemoy Campbell

By November 18, 2020
Kemoy Campbell Kemoy Campbell

Jamaica’s Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport has settled the balance of outstanding medical bills for Olympian Kemoy Campbell.

Campbell, who has since retired from track and field, suffered a near death experience at the Millrose Games in February 2019. The now 29-year-old collapsed after stepping off the track in New York where he was the pace-setter for the men’s 3000m at the indoor meet.

He was rushed to the nearby Intensive Care Unit at New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Hospital. He was eventually fitted with an implantable cardioverter defibrillator and later with a pacemaker after suffering another scare a year later.

His medical bills amounted to hundreds of thousands of US dollars. He had managed to pay a portion of the bill but a substantial balance had remained.

That balance has now been settled by the Jamaican government.

Minister Olivia Grange announced on Wednesday that the outstanding amount of just under USD$71,000 had been paid off.

According to a statement from the ministry, the Jamaica Athletes Insurance Plan paid USD$ 31,677 towards the settlement of his medical bill while Campbell also paid an amount through his personal insurance but there was still an outstanding balance.

“The Ministry felt duty bound to assist Kemoy,” Minister Grange said.

“He has performed well for Jamaica and in fact, as we know, he fell ill on the track. And so, the least we could do to show appreciation and gratitude to him was to assist in his time of need.”

Campbell was overwhelmed by the gesture from the government.

“My family and I would like to sincerely thank Minister Grange for helping me with my medical bills, he said.

“After my second incident in March 2020, the minister reached out to me and told me that I shouldn’t worry about the bills as she was willing to help me pay for my medical expenses following my surgery.

“This meant so much to me because my hospital stay and surgery were very expensive. Knowing that the minister and Jamaica were there for me during this tough time helped me get through the months following. I really appreciate everything that the minister and Jamaica have done for me and will always be grateful.”

Meantime, Minister Grange used the opportunity to encourage other athletes to sign up for the insurance scheme.

“I am happy that through the JAIP and the Sports Development Foundation (SDF) we were able to give Kemoy the level of assistance that concluded the settlement of his medical bills and that he is doing well,” she said.

“I continue to encourage athletes to sign up for the JAIP and maintain contact with the  Sport Division of the Ministry to ensure that their health and welfare matters are in order.”




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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