Jamaica’s distance runner Kemoy Campbell says doctors have been unable to diagnose his heart condition and will be inserting an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) in the left side of his ribs tomorrow.
Campbell’s heart had stopped, causing him to collapse while he was participating in the men’s 3000-metre event at the Millrose Games in New York on February 9.
“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,” Campbell shared on Instagram.
“On Monday I will be putting in a ICD in my body (left side of my ribs).This device will shock my back into rhythm if this is to happen again.
“I was told that I would have to take a few months off from running. After those months, I could start getting back at it slowly with permission from my cardiologist,” he continued.
The athlete is being treated at the New York Presbyterian Columbia Medical Center in the United States.
Campbell, formerly of Bellefield High school in Manchester, dominated the middle and distance races at Boys Championships. He also had success at the regional Carifta Games, winning from 800m through to 5,000m.
He left Jamaica and attended South Plains College in Texas in 2011, where he won national Junior College Athletics Association (NJCAA) titles in the 800 metres and in cross country
Two years later, he moved onto the University of Arkansas and placed fifth in the men’s 5000 metres final and finished second in the men’s 3000 metres at the 2013 NCAA Division 1 Indoor Track and Field Championships.
He was injured in 2014, but rebounded in 2015 when he lowered Jamaica’s 5000m record to 13:20.39 minutes, and historically secured the qualifying mark to the IAAF World Championship in Beijing, China.
But his good fortune turned sour when in his first major senior championship he fell in his heats and failed to advance. The following year at the 2016 Olympic in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, he finished 10th of 25 in his 5000m heats and again failed to make the final.
On August 12, 2017, Campbell became the first male Jamaican distance runner to compete in a final at the IAAF World Championships in London. He finished 10th with a time of 13:39.74 minutes.