By STEPHON NICHOLAS Friday, September 27 2013
Former national World Cup youth footballer, Akeem Adams, is fighting for his life at the Heart Clinic Városmajor in Hungary after suffering a massive heart attack on Wednesday evening (Hungarian time) at his home in Budapest.
The former Presentation College, San Fernando student, who transferred to the Hungarian premier division club, Ferencvarosi, from Chaguanas club, Central FC, two months ago in July, is currently in critical condition after two emergency surgeries. His club has appealed to their fans to donate blood to the 22-year-old defender.
In a statement on Ferencvarosi’s website, Dr Zsolt Szelid, senior cardiologist at the National Sports Centre, explained, “The additional risk of myocardial infarction (heart attacks) was resolved, but the player’s condition remains serious. The next few days will be crucial in terms of changes in the circulatory system.”
Adams represented this country at the 2007 FIFA Under-17 and 2009 Under-20 World Cups, and made his debut for the senior Soca Warriors team in March 2008 at age 16.
In a press release issued by the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) yesterday, Adams’ Hungarian teammate, Tomi Csilus, recounted the events leading to this unfortunate occurrence.
Csilus explained Adams contacted a female official of the football club, three hours after training ended, complaining of feeling unwell.
“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. Then ten minutes later we found him out at his home and he was rushed to the hospital,” Csilus told TTFA Media. “We are all praying for him. He has been a good friend since he arrived here to join us.”
Speaking to Newsday yesterday, Adams’ mother, Ancilla, was in a sombre mood and was praying to God to keep her son alive. She is expected to fly to Hungary to see her son at the earliest convenience.
“I got the news about 6.50 am and I just started to pray. I couldn’t believe it, it was shocking,” she said. The Point Fortin resident revealed she spoke to her son on Tuesday and he was in good spirits.
“On the holiday (Republic Day) we talked from morning to evening on Skype, watching one another and talking and laughing,” she said.
Ancilla stated her son has never suffered from any heart problems but disclosed that his father, Renwick, died about three years ago from a stroke.
She noted Adams always wanted to play professional football and told her so at the age of nine.
Meanwhile, Sean Cooper, who coached Adams at Presentation College and W Connection, was surprised to learn of his calamity and wished him a speedy recovery.
Cooper explained Adams is a very skilful and versatile player, playing at central defence, left-back and even defensive midfield for him.
“He had one setback when he lost his father and he came out of the limelight a bit. It’s sad to know at this point in time. His father’s anniversary (of his passing) is next week Saturday. I knew his father well and his parents are very nice people,” he continued.
Cooper pointed out that many people believe Adams should be the starting left-back for the national senior team right now considering the immense experience he has but noted that Adams took a while to regain his focus and love for the game after his father died.
“You don’t know how the death of a father can affect such a young man especially knowing how tight-knit that family is,” he said.
In Hungary, there was an outpouring of support by Ferencvarosi fans for their young player.
Miklos Ilku, an editor of Nemzeti Sports Online, one of the biggest sports websites in Hungary, in an interview with Newsday explained Adams has become a huge hit since his arrival and has quickly established himself as a starter.
“Everyone is shocked. He has settled in very well and they like him very much here. He’s a fighter on the pitch and the Hungary supporters like that. I think he is one of the best in the league,” Ilku said.
Ferencvarosi is currently second in the 16-team league on 18 points, trailing leaders Videoton FC by one point after eight rounds.
Brent Sancho, managing director of Central FC, was also in a saddened state yesterday and hailed his former player as a consummate professional.
“I always knew he would one day move on to bigger and better things and when his representative said there was interest from Hungary, we did not get in his way,” he explained. “We’ve been in contact with him for the past two months and everyone said he was doing well.”
Although rare, heart attacks among footballers are not entirely unusual as just last year Bolton Wanderers’ Fabrice Muamba of the Democratic Republic of Congo, collapsed on the pitch during a televised FA Cup match against Tottenham Hotspur in England.
Muamba’s heart stopped beating for 78 minutes and were it not for a cardiologist who attended the game, medical personnel and numerous defibrillator shocks, he would not have been alive today. Muamba has retired from professional football.