Tuesday 19 March, 2019

Jamaican Olympian Natasha Moodie battling serious illnesses

Jamaican Olympian Natasha Moodie.

Jamaican Olympian Natasha Moodie.

A Gofundme page has been established for Jamaican Olympian Natasha Moodie, who is battling a number of serious illnesses.

The 28-year-old represented Jamaica in the women's 50m freestyle at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. According to her friend Rachael, who launched the page, Moodie has been battling multiple chronic illnesses for nearly six years.

She reportedly contracted Lyme disease in 2014 while volunteering at a summer camp while on break from the school year. 

“While battling post-treatment Lyme Syndrome, she was exposed to an infection that induced severe structural damage in her lungs and esophagus,” said the gofundme page.

Despite the severity of her illnesses, Moodie continued to teach and volunteer within her community of Rio Grande Valley, Texas in the United States. But, after three years of deteriorating health, she was no longer able to care for herself and had to move in with family in Florida in August 2017.

According to reports, doctors in both Texas and Florida were unable to effectively treat Moodie’s condition, and her situation worsened over time. Finally, in January of 2019, the staff at National Jewish Health in Denver, Colorado took on her case. The doctors in Denver diagnosed her with a bacterial infection in her lungs and will be performing the first of two pulmonary lobectomies on Moodie, beginning in April.

Just days before her arrival in Denver, Moodie was quoted as saying: “I have been waiting years for this day to arrive and I can’t pretend to have it together. I am finally on my way to a highly ranked specialized testing and treatment facility.

“Leaving Texas was heartbreaking and being in Florida is still very difficult for me. During my first year in Florida, I continued to ignore God’s guidance and pushed myself in a job even more strenuous than the job I tearfully left in Texas - all to feed my pride. Spoiler alert: ‘I did not get the beachfront apartment I wanted and found myself 20lbs underweight with a rapidly growing list of issues.” 

Moodie said that through the physical, emotional, and financial trials, “I am constantly in awe of the people God has placed in my life.” 

She remains quite upbeat despite the challenges. What she needs now is the money to cover her medical bills. She will undergo the first of two pulmonary lobectomies on April 24 and will need pre and post-operation drugs; post Lyme treatment, testing and rehabilitation; laboratory tests
and in-patient care.

“Natasha has spent her life helping others, now is our chance to help her. Please consider sharing her story and donating today. We sincerely appreciate every dollar, prayer, positive vibe, and healing thought,” said Rachael.

Persons wishing to contribute to Moodie’s medical care can donate funds to:https://www.gofundme.com/natasha039s-pulmonary-lobectomy.

A freestyle specialist, Moodie is a three-time national record holder and NCAA All-American champion. While studying kinesiology at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Micigan, Moodie trained and swam for the Michigan Wolverines team under head coach Jim Richardson. She is a member of the award-winning Team Rogers in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Four months before the Beijing Games, she placed first at the Ohio State University'sToyota Grand Prix meet in Columbus, Ohio an Olympic B-standard time of 26.61 seconds. Moodie swam a lifetime best of 25.95 seconds to overhaul the 26-second barrier and slice her own Jamaican record by 0.14 of a second but failed to advance past the prelims, finishing fifth in heat eight and 37th overall.

At the 2009 FINA World Championships in Rome, Italy, Moodie matched her Olympic feat and own Jamaican record of 25.95 in the 50-metre freestyle and attained her personal best of 57.71 in the 100-metre freestyle. Her performances in both of her swimming events were not sufficient to put her through to the semifinals.

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