DIED YESTERDAY: Akeem Adams ...suffered heart attack on September 25.

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WARRIOR LOSES FIGHT

Ex-national footballer Akeem, 22, dies after massive stroke

By Ian Prescott ian.prescott@trinidadexpress.com

Former soca warrior Akeem Adams was messaging former teammates at the local Central FC club only recently confirming he was on the mend after initially suffering a heart attack on September 25. A few days later he is dead.

Reports out of Hungary confirmed that Adams died yesterday after suffering a massive stroke on Saturday. There was an initial report that his mother Ancilla Adams had refused to take him off life support in hope. However, late yesterday, the former national player’s uncle, Ivan Dick, and the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) both confirmed Adams’ passing.

A TTFA release quoted Dick as saying: “He went on his own. This was God’s call. He is at peace now. We wish to thank all of those who offered their support to Akeem and his family. He touched us all in so many ways.”

Brent Sancho, managing director of Adams’ former club Central FC, was in “shock”.

“We kept atop of the situation and he was improving. Then Sunday came the news that he had suddenly suffered a massive stroke,” said the former 2006 World Cup Soca Warrior.

“I am still in a state of shock,” Sancho added. “When we sent him to Hungary earlier this year we were so happy for him. When his agent called us and told us how well he played in the first game, we were elated, seeing that he was progressing and moving on to better things. This is so shocking. So frightening.”

Yesterday morning, the Ferencvárosi Torna Club (FTC), to which Adams was contracted in August, issued a release on its website confirming Adams’ death. However, at 11.15 a.m., Adams’ local representative Dion Sosa also advised that his mother had opted go with faith in deciding against taking her son off life support, following initial reports of a decision to take that step earlier in the day.

Adams’ club has been responsible for releasing official information on his condition over the past three months, following his initial heart attack on September 25.

The club’s release stated: “It is with deep sorrow that we announce the death of FTC’s player, Akeem Adams, player of Ferencvárosi Torna Club and Trinidad and Tobago national side. Three months after his massive heart attack, his condition turned critical on Saturday, when he also suffered a heavy stroke. The massive heart attack occurred (on September 25) at Adams’ home after the afternoon training. The player was immediately transported to Városmajor Heart Clinic, where he underwent three lifesaving operations and received a mechanic instrument supporting his vascular system.

“Later, circulation problems resulted in the T&T left-back losing the lower part of his favoured left leg. Akeem’s chances of survival grew continuously and he was able to meet and converse with relatives and friends from his hospital bed, until Saturday’s stroke.”

Adams got great support in Hungary from the club, which flew his mother and 26-year-old brother Akini Adams to Hungary, where they have been at his bedside the last three months. Hundreds of Hungarians donated blood, and the club also raised US$45,000 through a sponsor towards Adams’ education on his recovery.

 “During the intensive treatment, the physicians prepared him for a heart transplant. However, this Saturday, complications arose and the player’s body could not cope anymore with pain coming from the mortal cerebral venous thrombosis. The medical staff of Városmajor Heart Clinic and Ferencvárosi Torna Club share the pain of the loss of Akeem Adams.”

Earlier yesterday, TTFA general secretary Sheldon Phillips stated that the Association was awaiting confirmation from Adams’ family before making a pronouncement. The TTFA was the single largest local contributor to Adams’ recovery, when raising just over $72,000 from sale of jerseys and a partial donation of funds raised from the October friendly international between Trinidad and Tobago and New Zealand at Hasely Crawford Stadium.

Phillips said the news of Adams’ relapse was indeed unexpected, since previous recent reports from his family were that he was watching television and conversing with others.

“Obviously, the situation is very fluid. We are in contact with his family and are actually awaiting firm confirmation from them before making an official release,” Phillips said. 

Later, the TTFA issued a release stating: “The Trinidad and Tobago Football Association is deeply saddened by the passing of Akeem Adams. We would like to extend our deepest condolences and sympathies on behalf of the officials, players and supporters of all our teams to Akeem’s family and friends at this sad time. Akeem’s uncle Ivan Dick and local representative Dion Sosa confirmed that Akeem left us today 12.45 pm TT time.”

TTFA president Raymond Tim Kee also stated his “dismay” over Adams’ death.

“No words can fully express our grief and dismay on what has happened,” Tim Kee stated. “We can only pass on all our thoughts and prayers to his family and hope they will get some strength from the outpouring of love and support from everyone over this period going back to the time that he suffered the heart attack some months ago.

“Everyone in our football fraternity is deeply affected by this. Not only was he a promising and dedicated footballer, but he was also a fine young man.”           —See Page 70

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