Government went above and beyond, says grateful CampbellSaturday, November 21, 2020
BY HOWARD WALKER
Retired Jamaican athletics star Kemoy Campbell said the Government went above and beyond to assist in settling his medical bill of over $10 million.
The 29-year-old Campbell suffered a near-death experience during the Millrose Games in February 2019 and was rushed to the nearby New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Hospital where he was eventually fitted with an implantable cardioverter defibrillator.
Then months later, after another scare, he was fitted with a pacemaker, but his medical bill soared. He told the Jamaica Observer he was just “appreciative” for the Government's intervention.
Campbell needed help to pay his medical bills as his insurance does not cover some of the anaesthesiologists' bill or surgical bills.
“They went, above and beyond, to make sure that I was taken care of. So I couldn't be more thankful,” said Campbell.
Campbell, who lives in Miami, saw his medical bills soar to hundreds of thousands of US dollars, and although he managed to pay a portion of the amount, a huge balance had remained.
The Government, led by Minister of Sports Olivia “Babsy” Grange, paid of the over $10 million (USD$71,000) balance which Campbell was struggling to clear.
“It was a burden knowing that I owed the hospital that much, but the minister stepped in to help and it made even recovering better,” he explained.
Campbell is the national record holder of the 3,000m, 5,000m and the 10,000m, and the Inter-secondary Schools Sports Association Boys' and Girls' Championships (“Champs”) record holder in the 5,000m Open and the Class One 1,500m.
The former Bellefield High School star, who became Jamaica's first world-class middle-distance runner, culminating with him being the first from the island to make the qualifying standard for both the World Championships and the Olympic Games, is now coaching at Johnson and Wales University in north Miami.
He is also helping some heart foundations organisations in spreading awareness of heart disease, as they distribute defibrillators to assist athletes.