Mon | Mar 30, 2020

Seeing their faces was hard for me to deal with – Campbell

Published:Friday | March 1, 2019 | 12:18 AMAkino Ming/ Staff Reporter

Kemoy Campbell has ­revealed that the most devastating experience during his recent medical emergency was watching his loved ones grapple with the uncertainty of his health.

Campbell, whose heart stopped while he was the pacemaker during the men’s 3000m race at the Millrose Games early last month, said that his heart broke again when he saw the ­confused and stricken faces of members of his ­immediate family and his girlfriend when he had been awakened from a medically induced coma.

“I was devastated when I learned what happened, not for me, but for the people who care and love me. Seeing their faces and hearing the ­sadness in their voices was hard for me to deal with,” Campbell told The Gleaner. “I am thankful that they (family) remained strong because it was tough.”

The former Bellefield High School ­standout was only allowed to leave the New York Presbyterian Columbia Medical Center on Tuesday of this week.

And even after his lengthy stay at the medical facility, doctors are still not able to determine what caused Campbell’s heart to stop.

He said on Instagram on the weekend: “After multiple vials of blood, ECHOs, EKGs, ultrasounds, MRI, CAT scan, PET scan, and heart biopsy, the weeks of testing resulted in no ­diagnosis for the cause of my heart stopping.”

Yesterday, he told The Gleaner: “The thing about it is that I was never diagnosed with any heart issues, and the doctors still don’t know what might have caused this to happen,” he said.

According to Campbell, he still wants to ­compete with the best in the world.

“If anything, this makes me want to be that guy who competes at the world-class level despite my misfortune,” he said.

The 28-year-old is not ruling out making that dream a reality at the IAAF World Athletics Championships scheduled for October in Qatar.

“I am unsure of my 2019 season, but I was told to take time to heal, and if I heal quickly, I will be back at it again,” he said.

A cardioverter-defibrillator has been implanted inside his abdomen to shock his heart back into rhythm in the event of a repeat.

“My advice to other athletes is learn CPR, get regular check-ups, and listen to your body,” he warned.

Campbell represented Jamaica in the 5000m at the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil and was a finalist at the 2017 World Championships in London, England.