Gospel Spotlight: Industry players rally to support Katalys Crew band leader

August 10, 2018
Paul Barclay
The Katalys Crew of musician/producer Paul Barclay (left) and singer Shalom.

During a regular gym session one morning, bass guitarist and producer Paul Barclay endured a very unpleasant pain in his leg which turned his world upside down.

The Katalys Crew band leader said he stopped going to the gym but the pain remained.

According to Barclay, he had a recurring back issue which doctors normally treated for muscle spasm.

"It usual return when I lift anything too heavy and I would experience pain for a few days, this was on and off for years," said Barclay. "However, this time around I must have reached a threshold, because the pain did not desist for days until it became chronic and I was forced to see a specialist."

He was diagnosed with a pathological fracture of the spinal cord after doing an MRI.

He required immediate hospitalisation at the Kingston Public Hospital and corrective surgery to the spinal cord, aided with implants that replaced parts of the bones in the leg.

"The specialist indicated to me that the fracture collapsed approximately 70 per cent around the nerves, which was responsible for the pain in my leg," he said.

The surgery cost an estimated J$1.1 million and Barclay revealed he had not been covered by any form of medical insurance.

It distressed Barclay, who said, "that's when the heavy financial issues started".

The entire ordeal has left Barclay unable to walk and he said he cannot wait to get back on his feet, first to attend church and give thanks then into the studio to create music.

He spent three weeks in the hospital in July and is also awaiting results of a biopsy. Barclay can only sit up with the use of a brace.

A few of his colleagues came together as the William 'Paul' Barclay Medical Assistance Fund-organising team, which has also created a GoFundMe page.

They aim to raise US$37,300 (approximately J$5 million) not only for the purpose of surgery, but post-operative expenses, specialist bills and physiotherapy, which he is currently doing twice per week, as well as the cost to purchase additional braces to support movement.

"Not being able to move around has been a challenging adjustment, but it has especially made me uncomfortable that I have to reach out and ask for assistance," he said. "Special thanks to all who have responded both financially and in kind, people who called to give support; I am extremely appreciative of the persons who reached out locally and internationally."

Covenant Life Christian Church, of where Barclay is a member, has also reached out.

The church, and with colleagues of the musicians are hosting various fundraisers to provide assistance including the showing of an award-winning Jamaican gospel movie, Just Another Friday 2 on August 25, and the Rise Up and Walk Benefit Concert later in the year.

The gospel music community has reached out and both secular and non-secular artistes have promised to perform.

For persons who wish to assist locally, they can donate to the JMMB Portmore branch, account number 006100151957.

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