Help, please!

Regional

Help, please!

St James football coach needs emergency medical procedure but can't afford it

BY PAUL A REID
Observer West writer
reidp@jamaicaobserver.com

Thursday, September 10, 2020

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MONTEGO BAY, St James -Up to Tuesday, the County of Cornwall Athletics Association (COCAA) had raised roughly 20 per cent of the $500,000 needed by former St James Preparatory Coach Dwayne Humphrey, before he can undergo a heart surgery.

The drive started just over a week after Humphrey reached out for assistance via a heart-rending voice message sent by the 47-year-old who coached Alston High to the quarter-finals of the ISSA daCosta Cup football competition last year.

Stephen Smith, president of COCAA, told the Jamaica Observer West that his organisation had so far raised $85,000, but added that the association had received pledges from local and overseas-based individuals, as he expressed optimism that more funds will be realised soon.

“I reached out to some friends in the diaspora and the response has been positive and we should see the pledges coming in soon,” he told the Observer West.

Smith said he had also spoken to Humphrey's sister Natalie—who is taking care of her sibling—and has kept her abreast of the fund-raising efforts.

COCAA had kicked off the fund-raising with $20,000 and has asked their members to do whatever they could to help. Donations, COCAA said, can be sent to their account at the Montego Bay branch of Sagicor Bank, account number 441 0317 20013 9069, in the name of County of Cornwall Athletics Association.

The popular Humphrey also coached football at St James High and Irwin High, while at the club level he coached Reggae Youths and was involved at the youth level at Montego Bay United and Knockalva Technical.

He was released from hospital last Thursday and is now awaiting the surgery.

Natalie told the Observer West last week that the family was told by doctors that the operation was “urgently needed” if Dwayne is to survive.

She said her brother, who travelled to Germany seeking treatment “about three or four years ago”, had an enlarged heart and leaking valves and had been “in and out of the hospital, here [Montego Bay] and in Kingston for a few months”.

In the voice mails that were sent out, Humphrey is heard saying “I am very, very sick, I need open heart surgery...the operation will take place at the University hospital as soon as the funds are raised. I am begging and pleading, I don't know if anyone has any contact with the Jamaica Cricket Association or any other organisations that can help me, please I am desperate,” he said.


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