Update 5/29/2012: I have some very sad news to report. Although she put up a strong fight and was able to make significant progress since this post was first written, Ms. Connie Campbell passed away on Saturday May 26, 2012, according to the Help Connie Campbell Get Therapy page on Facebook. Please join me in keeping her family, friends and loved ones in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.
Last night, I went to an amazing concert featuring Jamaican reggae artists Tarrus Riley, Duane Stephenson, Dean Frasier, Shaggy, Cocoa Tea and The Blak Soil Band. The show was held at Crossroads Nightclub in Bladensburg, MD and it was a packed house!
Despite the concert being named “The Connie Campbell Foundation Concert”, I have to admit that I really didn’t know what the purpose of the show was up until about a couple hours before the show. So after getting more information both online and at the concert, I thought I’d pass on the information that I learned about Ms. Connie Campbell and the reason a benefit concert was held in her honor.
Last summer, in August of 2009, Tarrus Riley, Dean Fraser and Duane Stephenson were preparing to go on stage at Crossroads Nightclub in Bladensburg, MD (the same venue as last night’s show) when one of their backup singers, Connie Campbell suffered a seizure backstage. She seemed to recover quickly, but she was sent to the hospital to get checked out anyway while the concert went on without her. When the show was over, some of her tour companions went to go pick her up but instead of finding her on the road to recovery, they found that her condition had gotten much worse.
Instead of trying to put everything into my own words, I think it’s best if I simply copy the description of what happened and what has resulted from her Facebook Group’s page “Help Connie Campbell get therapy” below:
Connie suffered a “Brainstem Stroke” and now has “locked in syndrome”. The prognosis is guarded due to quadriplegia from brainstem cva. Favourable factors are her young age, good family and friends support and possible ability to comprehend and follow directions for rehabilitation.
She is NOT in a coma and is able to open her eyes when her name is called and many times is able to follow commands to move her eyes in tracking objects as directed by physician.
She will need extensive and prolonged therapy over 6-9 months. Therapy has not yet been started.
Because doctors believe that her current care requirements are best provided where she is, Ms. Campbell remains in a Maryland hospital. This is very unfortunate because being so far away from her home in Jamaica limits the ability of her family (including her young daughter) and friends to visit and provide her with the support she needs.
As you can imagine, Ms. Campbell’s medical bills have gotten to be pretty high and continue to grow. So, in order to raise funds to help pay for these and future medical costs, a group of her musician friends put on the benefit concert last night.
If you are interested in making a donation to help Connie, you can find details on how to do so on the Facebook Group page “Help Connie Campbell get therapy” that has been set up for her. I’m sure that any amount, large or small, will be helpful.
Whether or not you’re able to help financially, please try and keep Ms. Campbell in your thoughts and prayers. I hope that she can begin to recover very soon and that she is able to receive the therapy that she needs so that she can return to Jamaica to be with her family and friends.
Jamaica Observer: Help Connnie Campbell Sing Again
Jamaica Observer: Tarrus’s back-up singer Connie in coma for months (but as stated above, Connie is NOT in a coma)
The Jamaica Star: Connie gets ‘strength’ from local entertainers
Facebook: Help Connie Campbell get therapy