Campbell grateful for outpouring support
NEW ROCHELLE, New York:
Olympic distance athlete Kemoy Campbell says he was moved by the outpouring of support he has received after collapsing while competing at the Millrose Games, at The Armory in New York, on February 9.
Campbell suffered a heart failure midway the men’s 3000m event and had to receive medical treatment at the edge of the track, before being admitted to the nearby New York Presbyterian/Columbia University Hospital, where he spent a couple of weeks being tested and treated.
The 28-year-old has raised over US$62,000 ($7.9 million) through crowdsourcing platform GoFundMe, to help with his medical expenses, while his sponsor Reebok has also committed US$50,000 ($6.3 million) towards those costs.
Additionally, Sports Minister Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange has also announced that the Government will assist through the Sports Development Foundation. Campbell is also covered through the Jamaica Athletes Insurance Plan and will be able to access those benefits.
The London 2017 World Championships 5000m finalist, who admitted to being surprised, says the financial support, plus the constant encouragement from well-wishers from all across the world, has played a major role in his ability to push through the challenges so far.
“I want to say thanks to everyone. One of the things I didn’t realise – running as a Jamaican distance runner, yes you get support and people tell you good job and so on, but I didn’t realise how many persons were paying attention,” Campbell told STAR Sports.
“Sometimes your name isn’t mentioned as much and you might think that people have forgotten about you, but after that happened, the amount of messages I got, that was tremendous. Even the financial support, I couldn’t be happier. These are people that genuinely care, and that is really heart-warming to know that people looked out for me so much,” he added.
Campbell is yet to know the extent of his medical expenses but is expecting to see a considerable sum when the bill is delivered.
“I have no idea (what the cost is). All I heard when I was in the hospital was that it is pretty expensive. Even though I knew I had to stay there to figure it all out, I really wanted them to get me out there, because I know that each day I was in the hospital, that was more money adding up. I really don’t know what the bill is going to cost, maybe when I see it I might faint,” Campbell joked.
The athlete says that in spite of his situation, he is staying positive for the future and is hoping for a positive effect on others.
“To think about it, I have life. I was so close to having my life taken away from me. I am a positive person. I have always been the type to smile in any situation. I have always thought that my smile can make somebody’s day and if I can make at least one person’s day, then it’s an accomplishment for me throughout the day. Despite everything, I smile a lot because I don’t want to walk around being serious all the time,” said Campbell.