After suffering a major heart attack a fortnight ago, Trinidad & Tobago international Akeem Adams lost his limb on Tuesday and is battling to stay alive…
Sometimes we can forget just how important life is. For 22-year-old Akeem Adams (see above) – contracted to Hungarian club Ferencvarosi – the past few weeks have been the hardest of life. Team-mate Tamas Csilus tells the story to the Trinidad & Tobago Football Association (TTFA). “After training we were talking a lot and smiling and even dancing a bit. Then, about three hours after, Akeem called the woman at the club and said he wasn’t feeling good. Ten minutes later we found him out at his home and he was rushed to the hospital. We are all praying for him. He has been a good friend since he arrived here to join us.”
It was confirmed at the hospital in Budapest that he had suffered a major heart attack. There were no clear signs that is was coming but Adams did reportedly feel dizzy in his team’s 3-1 derby victory over Ujpest, days before the incident. No-one was to know it was an indication of what was to come.
The devastating news broke on Tuesday morning that Adams has lost his left leg following his fourth emergency operation. According to the website Wired 868: ‘Doctors at the Varosmajori Heart Clinic amputated his leg below the left knee and stabilized his circulation.’ However, Adams’ condition remains critical and frankly his body isn’t in sufficient condition to take the heart transplant that could keep him alive.
It is understood Adams moved for the first time last week and was able to talk to and acknowledge his mother, Ancilla Adams, and brother, Akini Adams (a goalkeeper in the Trinidad Pro League for T&TEC ) – whose trips over to Hungary were covered for by Ferencvarosi. TTFA Director of Communications Shaun Fuentes praised the club for their hospitality during such a traumatic situation.
The defender only signed for the Hungarian club in August. He started his career in his homeland with W Connection, before picking up the interest of United Petrotrin a campaign later. He developed steadily, resulting in a trial with Seattle Sounders of MLS but nothing came to pass. Instead, he returned to Trinidad & Tobago to join Central FC for the 2012-13 season. It was only in the summer when, courtesy of some fine displays in the Trinidad top-flight, Ferencvarosi registered their interest and he had made the move to Europe. Adams has played a prominent role in the reigning Hungarian champions’ backline (see below) and his absence is as much felt on the field than off it.
Adams is also capped at international level. He featured in the Under-17 World Cup six years ago and was a member of the Under-20 side that traveled to Egypt for the 2009 Under-20 World Cup (see above). He made his full senior bow at just 16 years old and has eight caps for the Soca Warriors to date.
The national team have a friendly lined up against New Zealand on October 15 at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain. But the occasion will be marked by the selling of commemorative Native Spirit tee shirts for $100 each, with all proceeds going towards the “Heart of a Warrior” fund on Adams’ behalf. Furthermore, Adams’ former club W Connection, who looked after him as a youngster, have already offered its Digicel Charity Shield winnings of $10,000 to the player. Point Fortin Civic and Connection and nearly 2,000 supporters offered a minute’s silence as a sign of respect for Adams before their First Citizens Cup quarterfinal match at the Mahaica Oval last week (see below, via Wired 868). There has been overwhelming support.
TTFA General Secretary Sheldon Phillips explained: “Because of the unfortunate circumstances last week, this game will serve a dual purpose. This is to prepare the team and also to help Akeem Adams and his family.” Children under-12, if attending the match with their parents, will be allowed free entrance.
In terms of the actual fixture itself, New Zealand are stern opposition and it promises to be a difficult 90 minutes for the Soca Warriors. It will be coach Stephen Hart’s first home game in charge and he has insisted the team must produce a good performance for the fans, media and especially Adams.
There is some positive news in that he’s under the supervision of specialist Professor Merkely Bela, who has supervised two successful heart transplants in the last year alone. With the support of his family, friends and everyone involved in football – Akeem Adams must continue to fight and hang in there. Here at The Home of Caribbean Football, we would like to send our very best wishes to Akeem and sincerely hope he makes a swift recovery. He’s lost his limb, but not his life. There’s always hope.
By Nathan Carr