Wed | Nov 13, 2019

‘It’s 50/50 for Kemoy’ - Dr Wright: You never can write off anybody, ­especially someone like Campbell, who is very ­determined

Published:Wednesday | February 20, 2019 | 12:27 AMLivingston Scott/Gleaner Writer
Kemoy Campbell (centre) competing at the 2017 IAAF World Championships in London.
Dr Paul Wright
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Experienced sports medicine practitioner, Dr Paul Wright, says Jamaican long-distance runner Kemoy Campbell has a 50/50 chance of ­returning to compete at his best again.

Olympian Campbell collapsed while competing at the Millrose Games in New York on February 9. He was rushed to a nearby hospital, where he is still recovering.

Dr Wright noted that many athletes who have had similar mishaps have recovered and gone on to live normal, healthy lives, but he said the chances of Campbell getting back to his athletic best are very slim.

“It depends on what they find as the reason why this happened to him. But people have recovered and lived a normal life, but it is very unusual for them to get back to where they were before the collapse, very unusual. But you never can write off anybody, especially someone like Kemoy, who is very determined. But it all depends on what heart damage happened, why he collapsed like that. When they know, they may say with some authority what is the future. But it’s 50/50 for him coming back to compete as a runner. It will all depend on what is found with the investigation,” he said.

Wright believes that the best thing is to take things in stages and see what possibilities exist as they go along.

“It’s just for him to recover. He is talking and walking, and all of these are good signs. The scan shows that after he had been resuscitated with an automated external defibrillator, he had an arrhythmia, so they are going to need to do a heart scan to see if there is damage to cause something like that. If anything, they will look to do an examination to see where the damage was and see what can be done to make sure it doesn’t happen again and then modify his activities after that,” he continued.

However, Dr Wright strongly believes that a pre-participation examination (PPE), ­especially for ISSA-organised events, must become mandatory.

“I keep telling people that the pre-­participation examination should be ­mandatory for people who are going to perform under the auspices of ISSA. That is where you can pick up these things early, so you must make it ­mandatory, and the PPE must be done by trained people,” he said.

Campbell, a former Bellefield High School and University of Arkansas star, posted on social media last Friday that he has not received any information about what caused his “heart to stop”.

“I ask every day, but they have no answers yet,” he said in an Instagram post.